America's Shame, Two Years on from "Mission Accomplished"
by Robert Fisk
Marines surprised by insurgent's preparation for attack
thanks to Antiwar.com
As the Iraq war drags on, it's beginning to look a lot like Vietnam
Home from Iraq
Journalist urges Americans to search for truth, freedom'
thanks to Eschaton
Experts: Iraq verges on civil war
thanks to Eschaton
In Iraq's insurgency, no rules, just death
Iraq, Vietnam and some facts
by Steve Gilliard
Permanent War for Permanent Fuckwits
all together now
Rep. McDermott on the Common Good
McDERMOTT: But you are absolutely right and, you see, I mean, by the way if there's anything that's lost, that we've lost in the last for awhile, it's being the sense of the common good. You are honest enough to tell me that that's exactly how you thought. You are thinking about yourself. I've got a job, I've got health care, I've got, you know, I'm doing OK, so it's not a problem. Well Reagan started us down the road, not that he was the first, but he was the one that articulated best when he said: "are you better off this year than you were last year or four years ago?" The question should be are we better off than we were four years ago and the fact is that as a country and as a people and as a middle-class, we are not. Our salaries aren't going up, are ability to buy a house, you realize if we have any kind of financial problem in this country and we suddenly have to deal with rising interest rates, all those young people out there who have a house with an adjustable mortgage on it, you could have this thing jump 3%. I'm fixed rate, I'm not going to change but if you are young person and you have to take an arm to get into the house, you are in real danger, and jumping interest rates plus $2.50 gasoline, health care problems, job problems - and that's why I think the biggest thing that's missing in the democratic party is that we have lost the idea of the common good. That's what Franklin Delano Roosevelt was going with social security, he's saying look, this is the worst that's ever been in this country but we would get together and we will find the way to help our old people in this country get back on their feet and we've driven down the poverty among senior from 50% to 10% and it's not all gone, is not perfect, is not the best system in the world, but it's going in the right direction and herein comes the President who says "we have to get rid off that, we want to put you on in the ownership society." What he means is that we want to put you out on your own and that's splitting again the idea of the common good. We put Social Security together, he wants to put us back on our own dealing with the stock market and from my point of view, my 401K tells me that I ain't smart enough to get rich investing, so, maybe somebody else, but I don't want to take the chance, I want to know that if everything goes to pieces, I'll always have my Social Security.
SACRE COEUR PARIS MONTMARTRE
First Things First
“He replied, ‘Viacom is my life. I’ve got to do what’s best for the company. I need to buy more stations, and the Republicans are going to let me do it. It’s in the company’s interest to support Republicans.’”
The Gravest Generation
by Günter Grass
We can only hope we will be able to cope with today's risk of a new totalitarianism, backed as it is by the world's last remaining ideology. As conscious democrats, we should freely resist the power of capital, which sees mankind as nothing more than something which consumes and produces. Those who treat their donated freedom as a stock market profit have failed to understand what May 8 teaches us every year.
thanks to Life In The Present
The Intensifying Global Struggle for Energy
From Washington to New Delhi, Caracas to Moscow and Beijing, national leaders and corporate executives are stepping up their efforts to gain control over major sources of oil and natural gas as the global struggle for energy intensifies. Never has the competitive pursuit of untapped oil and gas reserves been so acute, and never has so much money as well as diplomatic and military muscle been deployed in the contest to win control over major foreign stockpiles of energy. To an unprecedented degree, a government's success or failure in these endeavors is being treated as headline news, and provoking public outcry when a rival power is seen as benefiting unfairly from a particular transaction. With the officials of numerous governments coming under mounting pressure to satisfy the needs of their individual countries -- at whatever cost -- the battle for energy can only become more inflamed in the years ahead.
After the oil is gone
Say goodbye to your suburban house, yoke up that horse, and stand by to repel pirates! Author James Howard Kunstler talks about the dire world of his new book, "The Long Emergency."
Suburbs will collapse into slums. Farmhand will be a more viable career choice than public relations executive. And avoiding starvation will replace avoiding boredom as the national pastime.
Welcome to the home of the Solar Death Ray!
thanks to J-Walk Blog
totalitarianism is on its way
The undertow of totalism
The success or failure of any kind of totalitarianism always comes down to the symbiotic relationship between them, that is, how skilled the would-be leaders are at gathering and maintaining a flock of True Believers. This depends not only on the leaders' skills, but on how many people are willing to become followers, and the conditions that affect their willingness.
the studio (formerly known as the dungeon)
There is a room in our basement that has been primarily used for storage. I've been clearing out one end for a studio. I have a little work bench that I use for working on my camera projects. Here it is ready to make some more camera straps...
The red thread came in for the camera straps and I need to get the pictures up on the camera straps site. I have a 23" long roll of seamless paper that I can put up on the work station and do my product photography...
I need to hang some 54" seamless paper from the ceiling for larger items and for people. When things calm down I want to insulate and wallboard the room. I don't think they are going to calm down soon.
I'm going to have to cut back a little on my entries. Too much happening. Thursday we saw a surgeon about Zoe's biopsy. It turns out that there are two clumps of micro-calcifications that need to be removed. Zoe has more in her blog. We go to Seattle Tuesday to get a second opinion. On top of that Zoe's mom's house closes in two weeks and, although things are pretty much under control, there is still a lot left to do. And business has been busy. The next month looks like it will be overfull.