Archive for November, 2010

Global Art To Save The Planet? Not Bloody Likely!
November 27, 2010

Common Dreams has a piece from Environment News Service headlined Giant Earth Art Displays Dramatize Climate Urgency.

Bill McKibben’s company, 350 Earth, has put together a bunch of giant arty displays that can be seen from space. They will be photographed and the photographs will somehow encourage the saving of the biosphere.

Lion poop!

Pretty pictures pretty useless.

To quote The Lion’s comment at the site:

All very pretty.

And pretty useless.

How about organizing a thousand informed, intelligent people to hit congressional offices every day to counter the money and people the energy companies are pouring into congressional campaigns?

How about organizing a major attack against the media, to get them to start focusing on climate for real, with real science, day after day after day?

How about organizing major boycotts against polluters?

How about finding dozens of people to hound people like Inhofe and the other deniers everywhere they go, every day?

How about getting some of those billionaires who have profited so handsomely from the Oil Age to pony up serious money to save the biosphere?

Where are the organizers who can put all that together? Until they show up, the pols and the deniers and the wealthy profiteers and the citizenry aren’t really going to take the matter seriously. They’ll not act until their houses flood and they can’t get food because nobody can grow enough.

The people who are screwing over the planet for money don’t give a damn about pretty pictures from space. They’ll be laughing up their sleeves while pouring money and personnel into the places where decisions are made, where lawmakers can be bought and sold, where corruption rules, whether subtle or broad, and the major place the corrupter’s money goes is into the Congress of the United States.

Catastrophic climate change is deadly business. Congress and its wealthy enablers just think of it as business. Pretty pictures won’t change their minds.

Focused action, focused mass action, focused financial action, focused intelligence can make a difference.

Pretty pictures and rock concerts are nothing more than feel-good ego nonsense birthed by a celebrity-worshipping adolescent culture that thinks that Beyoncé, the Pope, and a royal wedding will save the world.

It’s not a celebrity issue and it’s not an intellectual issue, not any more. The time for polite conversation is over, the time for rock concerts is over, the time for pretty pictures is over.

If the climate people don’t get serious, if they don’t turn into a bunch of hardasses, if they don’t play as ugly as the other side, then everybody dies. Sooner rather than later.

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MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Beats Chris Matthews As Worst Interviewer
November 23, 2010

The Lion didn’t think anyone could conduct a more annoying interview than MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, a man who never shuts up, who interrupts his guests constantly, and puffs himself up as something really special.

But he’s been outdone by Dylan Ratigan, who comes on in the hour before Matthews. Ratigan’s gift differs from Matthews’. Matthews will rattle off rapid fire questions and demonstrates vast impatience with anyone who actually tries to give a coherent answer. The viewer is left learning pretty much nothing.

Ratigan, however, never asks a question that is less than five minutes long and during which he rambles all over the map, all through time and history, and brings in every disparate element that apparently rattles through his brain at the moment.

By the time Ratigan gets to the end of his speech, virtually nobody knows what the hell he’s talking about or what the question is. The guests sit through these bumbling rambles looking as if it’s all they can do to not actually roll their eyes in irritation.

At least he usually lets them answer the question, although The Lion can never be sure if they’re answering the question Ratigan originally intended to ask or if they’re just riffing in the general area of the issue because they haven’t a clue what he’s talking about either.

Both these guys need some serious training in interviewing, reporting, and public speaking. The Lion doesn’t know or care what their ratings are, but if ratings were based on skill they’d be somewhere below the lowest basement level at the Nielsen building. Right now MSNBC is wasting three hours a day on Ratigan and Matthews.

Matthews and Ratigan might as well be handing ratings points to Faux News.

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Americans, Afghans Negotiating Peace With Taliban Imposter. Now, About Those Drone Strikes…
November 23, 2010

According to the New York Times the man the American and Afghan governments have been negotiating with to bring peace to Afghanistan is an imposter who does not represent the Taliban.

Think about that for a minute. They vetted this guy, they sat down at a negotiating table with this guy, they gave him a lot of money, and it turns out he’s a fraud, possibly even a Pakistani ISI agent. This was one guy, in the open, in a high profile setting, and everybody got it wrong.

What does that say about all our drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan on ‘suspected’ insurgents, people who don’t get vetted, don’t get talked with, don’t get questioned, don’t get investigated? We just kill them, and everyone around them, including women and children, because our bright boys in the government and the military ‘suspect’ them. Some dumbass twenty-year-old American ‘warrior’ or ‘hero’ in Oklahoma pulls the trigger on a pilotless drone on the other side of the world and blows away families because somehow someone ‘suspects’ somebody getting blown up is an ‘insurgent’.

That’s about as good a definition of insanity, stupidity, and evil as we’re going to get, and it works for the whole American government, right up to the top.

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Airport Screening Can’t Find C4 Up Your Butt
November 21, 2010

The United States should admit it: The terrorist masterminds, wherever they are, have won this round over the airlines.

The airlines, and the government, have adopted screening policies that assume everyone is guilty as soon as they buy a ticket, and have spent billions putting into place a complex, complicated, demeaning, and insulting process that experts say doesn’t work anyway.

And all the terror guys had to do was send in one fool with explosives in his underwear and another with explosives in his shoe. Talk about finding a low-cost way to totally screw over an industry and a democracy.

What’s next? The logic would go something like this. The terror guys send a guy with C4 up his butt, something the current procedures wouldn’t find. But if he has a wire hanging out of his ass, they’ll find that, and then they’ll find the C4 and then the TSA patters will have to give everyone a rectal exam. And, or maybe or, the government will find some ex-government bureaucrat, from the right political party, who can provide expensive high-power x-ray machines to dose everyone with carcinogenic radiation.

That’s how Americans think.

They don’t think about hiring intelligent people at good pay, training them thoroughly in intelligent profiling and interviewing, and deploying them intelligently at airports.

Nope. Let’s spend billions making Michael Chertoff rich with his machines, and let’s pay low wages to whatever schmucks we can get off the street and let’s not pay any money for intelligent training in methods that actually work.

The terror guys are learning faster than the Americans are. They thought they had to take down the World Trade Center to cripple democracy, but they were wrong. A couple of pounds of plastique in a guy’s underwear worked pretty well. Stuff some bang-bang stuff into some printers shipped on cargo planes and watch the panic and the expenditure of money that ensues. Some C4 up a guy’s butt should pretty much kill off either the airlines or the whole Rube Goldberg security apparatus.

After the Trade Center disaster, the government discovered, though they didn’t make a big enough deal of it, that the whole thing could have been prevented by simply securely locking the doors to the flight deck of the airliners and ruling that pilots under no circumstances of threat were to open the door. The Lion might wonder how much that would have cost.

The terrorists have learned how to leverage cheap technology to accomplish their ends, and the United States just plays right along, like the dumbest, stupidest kid on the playground. The Lion can’t wait for the terrorists to blow up a bus so that the TSA can move into every bus terminal and start feeling up people.

Who would have thought that buying a bus ticket signaled the end of what was once the greatest major democratic government in history? (Besides The Lion, that is.)

The Fat, Racist, Mental Cesspool Named Rush Limbaugh
November 12, 2010

Both me and The Lion are at a loss for words to describe the ponderous dark depths to which Rush Limbaugh has sunk in his quest to undermine democratic government in the United States; the lengths to which he will go to drive people to tear at the throats of others; and the brazen breadth of his attempts to present himself as one of the most disgusting, immoral, pathetic, and sickening examples of the worst America has to offer.

Read about his latest psychopathological mouthful of crap over at TPM.

Kiran Chetry Speaks Peanut At CNN
November 10, 2010

I was just watching Kiran Chetry of CNN “News” deliver a story of profound news value.

Ms. Chetry is sitting on a bar stool, all pert and cheery, dressed in a short black something, alongside her partner whatshisname, and announcing as news to the world that the Planters Peanut cartoon character sales icon is no longer a silent character. The company has given him an actor’s voice.

I said to Ms. Chetry, “Don’t you feel like a fucking idiot sitting up there announcing this to the world? You’re supposed to be a professional news anchor, not a public relations flack for some jagoff peanut marketing department.”

Apparently my comment didn’t bother her an iota. She just rattled on, and was still rattling this inanity when I switched off the television.

Seeing her sitting up on that stool reminded me of the hookers who sit in the windows of Amsterdam. Which, all things considered, seems appropriate for American television news.

American Terror
November 10, 2010

November 9, 1995 Oklahoma  Oklahoma

Constitutional Militia leader Willie Ray Lampley, his wife Cecilia and another man, John Dare Baird, are arrested as they prepare explosives to bomb numerous targets, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, gay bars and abortion clinics. The three, along with another suspect arrested later, are sentenced to terms of up to 11 years in 1996. Cecilia Lampley is released in 2000, while Baird and Willie Lampley — who wrote letters from prison urging others to violence — are freed in 2004 and 2006, respectively.

From:
The Second Wave: Return of the Militias
Southern Poverty Law Center Special Report

American Terror
November 5, 2010

November 5, 1999 Tampa, Florida 

FBI agents arrest James Kenneth Gluck in Tampa, Fla., after he wrote a 10-page letter to judges in Jefferson County, Colo., threatening to "wage biological warfare" on a county justice center. While searching his home, police find the materials needed to make ricin, one of the deadliest poisons known. Gluck later threatens a judge, claiming that he could kill 10,000 people with the chemical. After serving time in federal prison, Gluck is released in early 2001. 

From:
The Second Wave: Return of the Militias
Southern Poverty Law Center Special Report

Well Done, America! Well Done! And Now You’ll Pay The Psycho Piper…
November 3, 2010

Yesterday the American voter pulled off an amazing coup, perhaps even a coup d’état that may well morph into a coup de grâce against liberty, against democracy, against intelligence itself.

John Boehner, he of the cheap orange tan that a two-dollar whore past her prime would be ashamed of showing; John Boehner, who has the ethics of a burglar, the moral grace of a defrocked pedophile priest, and the intellect of a common garden slug; John Boehner, thanks to the American voter, will now control the House of Representatives as Speaker of the House.

He rules over a party that has moved so far to the right that they might as well incorporate as a foreign corporation and register as an enemy of democracy. Or perhaps they should incorporate as an asylum for the crazies and the ignorant and the stupid, not to mention the millions who are so terrified by what the hucksters and greedsters and Glenn Beck psychos tell them day after day, hour after hour, that they have lost all capacity to do the work of digging for facts and truths, that even if they found a fact they would be incapable of recognizing it, of sorting it from the storm of lies and distortions and fables raging from the right-wing media.

Has there ever been an electorate so intellectually vapid that it suffered mass amnesia for events that happened just two years ago? Has there ever been an electorate so infantile that it expects thirty years of conservative failure in national economics to be wiped away in a matter of months? Has there ever been an electorate so blind to reality that it ‘sends a message’ to its leaders that it insists on returning to policies that not only failed, but that brought the nation’s economy to the brink of complete failure?

In a time that calls for our best minds to pull together to solve some of the greatest crises the nation, and the world, have ever faced, the American voter yesterday empowered greed, ignorance, stupidity, and intransigence.

It’s all very well to say that maybe next time or the time after that, or sometime, the pendulum of power and politics will swing the other way, but that only assumes that we have the time and that the damage that is about to be done will not have lasting, generational consequences.

Time is up. The American electorate  yesterday took a sledge hammer to the clockworks. The pendulum is broken and swings wildly in storm winds.

[Check out Matthew Rothschild’s view at The Progressive site.]

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