Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 21, 2008

OT 08-35

Without my knowledge, Typepad, the system this blog runs on, yesterday made (again) some weird changes. This time they seem to have limited comment display to 50 per thread.

I have no idea why and will try to fix this as soon as possible.

Use as open thread.

Posted by b on October 21, 2008 at 6:01 UTC | Permalink


In fact, I notice that the last few comments on Open Thread #34
are invisible. Since they come from Uncle and Debs I'm sure that many
would like to see them.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 21 2008 6:24 utc | 1

oh dear, typepad was rejecting DiD's posts through some automatic stupidrule, just after b posted the new bar rules.

not quite so bad as landing in Appaloosa, where infringement of rules means testosterone-laden bullet through the chest, no discussion.

movie review: apparently, folks who love classic westerns enjoy Appaloosa. I wanted to walk out. I'm not looking forward to a world run by vigilante justice, where the only parts for women are servants, whores with hearts of gold, and whores who can't play the piano worth shit.

Posted by: catlady | Oct 21 2008 6:36 utc | 2

Bunch of posts on pro Obama thread now also gone

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 21 2008 6:44 utc | 3

Good Chris Hedges piece: the_idiots_who_rule_america

Posted by: biklett | Oct 21 2008 6:47 utc | 4

John Cole clears up the socialism issue tonight:

Not socialism:

Welcome to the People’s Republic of Alaska, where every resident this year will get a $3,200 payout, thanks in no small measure to the efforts of Sarah Palin, the state’s Republican governor. That’s $22,400 for a family of seven, like Palin’s. Since 1982, the Alaska Permanent Fund, which invests oil revenues from state lands, has paid out a dividend on invested oil loot to everyone who has been in the state for a year. But Palin upped the ante by joining with Democrats and some recalcitrant Republican state legislators to share in oil company windfall profits, further fattening state tax revenue and permitting an additional payout in tax funds to residents.


Among the more prominent elements of his tax proposal, Senator Obama would end the Bush tax cuts and allow the top two tax rates to return to 36 and 39.6 percent.

I know it is difficult to expect coherence out of a movement whose largest recipient of cheers at a rally is some guy talking out his arse named Joe the Plumber, but we will do our best to keep you up to date on what is and what is not socialism.

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 21 2008 6:55 utc | 5

Hi Hannah I'm kinda reluctant to post this again since as you can see, I mis-posted on this quite a few times already. I thought that MoA just wasn't gettin my posts for whatever reason.

I will try again because I believe a few MoA habitues will find this documentary titled "High Anxieties The Mathematics of Chaos" worth watching despite it's rather off putting title.

The doco which screened on the BBC on Oct 15th looks at how the outmoded thinking used by technocrats around the world is based on old maths which uses models in a state of equilibrium. That is, everything is reckoned to be stable until an event, which should be within a capable technocrat's command and control, occurs. Even when that happens the outcome should be predictable, and if the event was unplanned a great deal of effort is put into uncovering the causes of that event so as to render it controllable in future.

The mathematicians, economists and climate scientists in this doco argue something rather different that is that the world is in an unstable state and that something can occur at any time, a tipping point if you will, to throw things out of control.
In the latter situation an intensive examination of what caused the trigger event is largely irrelevant. It could have been any one of thousands of things that bumped into an unstable model and caused the catastrophic change. The change was inevitable and worrying too much about the circumstances which led to it is wasteful.

Now that description doesn't do justice to the documentary. Watch it and draw your own conclusions, even if like me you remain unconvinced about some elements of what is argued.

It is possible this will become the preferred school of mainstream economists in the post sub-Prime world and it is already the methodology used by climate change scientists advising governments. It is only by understanding this better than an intellectually lazy pol, that we can hope to restrain them. Although of course a chaos theorist might argue that such efforts are futile.

In other words get yourself to understand the thinking of the oppressor. The plausible pieces of chaos theory need to be fully understood because we know that those in power will corrupt any plausible theory to suit their greedy main-chancing.

"High Anxieties The Mathematics of Chaos" is available for download from the BBC here if you live in england or it's remaining colonies .
There is a review of it on The Independent site and best of all the excellent Movies, Series, Docs, etc blog has Rapidshare and Gigasize links where the doco can be downloaded.

I think I have only recommended one other documentary at MoA in the time I have been posting here, I suspect most are like me and prefer to find their own path, but this is sufficiently topical and thought provoking for me to consider it worth a recommendation. No one is going to have an epiphany watching it but it does make a relevant if rather complex subject accessible.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Oct 21 2008 7:24 utc | 6

Debs, your URLs got mangled. Here is the correct address for the second one: "High Anxieties - The Mathematics of Chaos".

I will try to download the file now from RapidShare. It appears to have been deleted at Gigasize.

Posted by: Colin | Oct 21 2008 8:43 utc | 7

RapidShare is a pain in the ass.

The aforementioned documentary can also be found on the private BitTorrent tracker The Box, which is wholly dedicated to sharing British TV programs: "High Anxieties - The Mathematics of Chaos (14 October 2008)[WS.PDTV(XviD)]". You need a BitTorrent client of course, and you will have to register at the site, but it is worth it because there is great stuff there.

Here is another recent documentary people here might enjoy:

Art & Money: The Mona Lisa Curse

Part 1 of 3
Sunday, 21st September 2008
6:30pm to 8pm (1hour 15minutes)
Channel 4

At Sotheby’s on the 16th September, an anonymous bidder bought a bull in a tank of formaldehyde for £10.3million. The world’s most expensive cut of beef was cooked up, inevitably, by the artist Damien Hirst, whose "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever" sale of 223 new works fetched £111.5million, a record for an auction dedicated to one artist. The illustrious Australian art critic Robert Hughes, however, isn’t buying the hype.

This is partly because Hughes – who presents The Mona Lisa Curse, a one-off polemic broadcast on Channel 4 this Sunday – considers Hirst’s work flashy and fatuous. Indeed he has described one of the British artist’s sharks in formaldehyde as "the world’s most overrated marine organism".

But Hughes’s central beef with Hirst’s headline-grabbing success is that it illustrates how today’s mercenary art market has made the price of a work of art more significant than its meaning.

"The idea that there is some special magic attached to Hirst’s work that shoves it into the multimillion pound realm is ludicrous," Hughes says. "[The price] has to do with promotion and publicity and not with the quality of the works themselves."

In The Mona Lisa Curse, Hughes traces the pernicious rise of the commercial art market back to 1963, when Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous portrait was exhibited in New York. The Mona Lisa, says Hughes, was treated "as thought it were a film star. People came not to look at it, but to say that they’d seen it."

This "feeding frenzy" over a single painting marked the start of a process by which works of art became celebrities in their own right. And from the 1960s onwards, as Hughes recounts, acquisitive collectors started buying works of art not because they liked them, but because they expected a financial return.

Hughes’s film argues that art is the biggest unregulated market in the world apart from drugs. Contemporary art sales, such as Hirst’s, rake in £10billion a year. Modern art is dottily expensive to buy not, says Hughes, because it’s so good, but because investors believe it will yield quick profits.

"The commercial art market places too much emphasis upon novelty and trendiness," he says, "because buyers expect that new work will get more valuable in the short-term."

Of course, a work of art’s net worth – unlike a company’s – can’t be subjected to objective scrutiny. So those artists, such as Hirst, who attract controversy or have a flair for self-promotion are able to inflate the price of their work with some cleverly orchestrated PR. Moreover, collectors who have already invested in these artists would be fools not to play along, as Hughes explains.

"The market is manipulated by collectors who decide to bid up the work of an artist [they’ve already invested in]," he says. "So when artist X comes up on the auction block, the collectors all bid it up, so that they can then multiply the value of their existing holdings in artist X by the value of the inflated sale."

The relentless upward surge in prices has two regrettable consequences. First, art becomes seen as a commodity, something to be owned as much as appreciated. Second, the only places ordinary people can experience celebrated works of art at first-hand – museums and public galleries – are now priced out of the auction room.

"Instead of being the common property of humankind the way a book is, art becomes the particular property of somebody who can afford it," Hughes says. "And when you have some Russian squillionaire who started buying art three minutes ago but has the GNP of Georgia in his pocket, how can museums compete? They can’t – which causes great social harm. Suppose that every worthwhile book in the world cost $1million – imagine what a catastrophic effect on culture that would have."

All this makes depressing reading for art lovers. But if on the same day that the world’s financial markets plummeted in panic, Damien Hirst’s art was selling for record sums, shouldn’t everyone be ploughing their savings into artificially preserved farm animals?

"One of the things that sustains the art market is an irrational faith in a continuous rise in prices," says Hughes. "There was a 17th-century Italian painter called Guido Reni. Not a lot of people have heard of him but in the late 18th century many connoisseurs thought that Italy’s two supreme artists were Michelangelo and Reni. But by 1950 you could buy a 10ft painting by Reni for £300. People fall out of fashion quite rapidly. So this idea of the inviolability of the modern art market is a fantasy."

Grab it here: "Art & Money - Part 1 of 3 - The Mona Lisa Curse (21st September 2008) [PDTV (Xvid)]"

Posted by: Colin | Oct 21 2008 9:13 utc | 8

Ahhh, the art world. A club no self respecting artist would want to be part of. Like a (most excellent) musician friend of mine said in a job interview when asked how he would go about trying to inspire people to follow him , and said "if I thought someone was trying to follow me, the first thing I'd do would be to try and ditch em'."

Posted by: anna missed | Oct 21 2008 9:33 utc | 9

sorry bout the url mess. the bbc link for those in britain is here .
I find rapidshare ok if the queue isn't too long which it often isn't in my time zone all the people 'up North' are in bed.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Oct 21 2008 9:42 utc | 10

Thanks for the BBC video Debs. It is excellent. Recommended to everyone.

Posted by: b | Oct 21 2008 14:10 utc | 11

Hmmm. Can't seem to access "High Anxieties - The Mathematics of Chaos" with any of the above links. Any help out there?

Posted by: Hamburger | Oct 21 2008 14:35 utc | 12

the people at typepad must be pure idiots - that move really screws up links to archive material. great business model (not!)

Posted by: b real | Oct 21 2008 15:59 utc | 13

Gov. Palin has no business using that screechy little voice of hers to screech about how Democrats are socialists when Republicans have proven umpteen times over that they are socialists as well. It's just that Democrats believe in using socialism to spread wealth from top to bottom, whereas Republicans believe in using it to concentrate wealth at the top. Goldman Sachs, GM, Halliburton, and Blackwater all spring to mind...

So Republicans can swear on their voodoo-holy books all they want about how well trickle-down theory works to trickle wealth down to the masses, but deep down in their heartless hearts, they know damn well that this theory is nothing more than an opiate for the masses. Plus they'd be going against the grain of the GOP's religion to confess that bubble-up theory is better at spreading wealth to the masses!

Posted by: Cynthia | Oct 21 2008 16:43 utc | 14

the narrative is getting a little like little red riding hood

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 21 2008 17:01 utc | 15

separate narrative, Jack kills no giants, tries to grok mountain:>Huge Mountain Range Should Not Be There

Posted by: plushtown | Oct 21 2008 18:09 utc | 16

bill ayers

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 21 2008 18:11 utc | 17

It seems that USuk are more than happy to use the economic conditions created by their financial system's greed and incompetence to wage war on the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan, with no regard at all for the human cost. According to the BBC Afghanistan is currently slipping into famine conditions brought about by a 'three year drought'. Those of us with a memory may recall that amerika claimed that it's 2002 invasion of Afghanistan had protected Afghanis from a famine. Lies of course the reality was that the economic blockade USuk had placed around Afghanistan had caused a food shortage exacerbated by the bombing which began in late 2001 that chased all foreign aid workers from the NGO's out of Afghanistan. The famine was a weapon used by USuk as the Omar government infrastructure retreated, USuk delayed putting in their own systems all the better to give the newly colonised Pushtu's at taste of their power. (Even the australian government sponsored AusAid site expresses shock at the conditions allowed to develop in Afghanistan by the new colonisers at sorry about the link but maybe this is the only way around type-pad's intrusive controls)
USuk must feel it is time to give their Afghani subjects another taste of starvation to bring them into line!

At the same time Pakistan is being held to ransom for a measly $10 billion over 4 years. China and Saudi Arabia are reported to have rebuffed Zardari's attempts to borrow the money from them and the west has told Pakistan to go to the IMF. This situation I feared a month or so back, that amerika would hold the Pakistani people to ransom if they continued to assert their independence. The amount is relatively small, but it seems that foreign investors have been encouraged to stay out of Pakistan since the people began to assert their democratic will some 18 months ago and the world wide financial meltdown has provided USuk with the excuse they need to provide the final coup de grace to Pakistan's independence.

We are told that Pakistan needs to agree to stringent IMF conditions before assistance can be considered. However it is difficult to see how since they have already had the neo-liberal medicine which seems more like the feared purge - a mixture of astringent potions favoured by allopathic doctors who believed in being cruel to be kind ( Until about 1870 and the introduction of preventative medicine doctors didn't have a clue what they were doing - can the same can be said of the IMF now?

Perhaps but this is more likely just an old fashioned siege. The type much practised by imperialists since ancient times. A substantial number of Pakistanis live on less than $2 a day. Surely there can be no more cruelties inflicted by the IMF, there is nothing left on the neo-lib prescription for Pakistan to do.

So we could conclude that like Afghanistan, Pakistan is being deliberately starved to bring it's population to heel.

We should not be surprised by this. I remember at primary school visiting the site of "Rewi's Last Stand" the last major battle fought in the Waikato in NZ during the 1860's. The Maori independence fighters had beaten the british militarily at every turn. At the battle of Gate Pa outside Tauranga where the British fort was surrounded, the warriors of Maniopoto had subjected the british troops too an unwitting siege. When the Maori leaders learned that the fort's supplies of water, food, and ammunition were low, they sent supplies in to their british enemies, believing there was no honour in such a victory. Then they beat the english on the battlefield.

But the tide was turning. england's measured ethnic cleansing followed, using the fearful and ignorant migrant population to occupy the land the troops had stolen meant that success on the battlefield by the Maori warriors wasn't reflected in the outcome of the war. If they had been english they would have slaughtered the settlers but Rewi and his men disdained such tactics. Eventually the british troops surrounded the Kingi movement at their fallback position where the women and children had been sent years before. Rangiaowhia - the site of Rewi's last stand. The english troops showed no honour, they had apparently forgotten the act of mercy shown by Rewi Maniapoto and his men at Gate Pa. They starved the people into submission by laying siege. Thousands died of starvation.

The same low tactic of victory at any cost is being attempted in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pakistan will be told to hand over the keys to it's nuclear arsenal, to allow USuk troops into the north to murder the population. Zardari is a low enough, greedy enough scum-sucker to give into this blackmail, but I doubt the rest of the Pakistani people are.

The same goes for Afghanistan although Karzai has been showing a conscience lately (one which has caused the occupiers to turn on him like a cornered rat, threatening to arrest former confident and chum of amerikan murderers, Wali Karzai, the president's brother) I doubt Karzai has the means ,even if he had the will, to prevent the deliberate mass starvation of Afghani people. George Custer used the same technique against amerika's indigenous people didn't he?

It won't work of course. The invaders don't have millions of equally desperate and racially brainwashed people ready to occupy the land taken from Afghanis and Pakistanis dying of starvation. USuk may have a victory, but that is doubtful, since their own populations will likely baulk at all the available cash that isn't going to the rich, going to kill poor people on the other side of the world.
If there is a victory, it will be short lived, the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan will recover and come back far more radicalised than when this horror began.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Oct 21 2008 18:12 utc | 18

Posted by: b real | Oct 21 2008 18:36 utc | 19

rgiap #17, thanks for link Bill Ayers, only scanned so far.

Did #18 thanks for info:

At the battle of Gate Pa outside Tauranga where the British fort was surrounded, the warriors of Maniopoto had subjected the british troops too an unwitting siege. When the Maori leaders learned that the fort's supplies of water, food, and ammunition were low, they sent supplies in to their british enemies, believing there was no honour in such a victory. Then they beat the english on the battlefield.

The difference is between real (biological) persons making decisions, and Corporations/bottom line only "persons" issuing orders to minions.

Posted by: plushtown | Oct 21 2008 18:42 utc | 20

what next, a coup

Who is the former Iraqi military general recently working w/the Americans?

Few weeks ago, Iraqi writer Haroun Mohammad said the following on Al-Quds Akl-Arabi:

It is not coincidence that Iraqi officials warn of possible coup…This came after the occupation forces appointed a senior Iraqi military officer and former commander of Republican Guards as an adviser works directly with the American military forces in Iraq, lives right now in the Green Zone.

This move raised objections by Iraqi political blocs, and discussed with the U.S. ambassador in Iraq Ryan Crocker and Gen. Petraeus. The answer was according to sources in Dawa Party:

“Mr. Maliki you are not allowed to interfere with our own business, as we are not allowed to interfere in your business”.

The writer didn’t say who is this high-ranked former general but I can. His name is Ra’ad Al-Hamdani, his name is in Wikipedia [look at the right sidebar under commanders].

Al-Hamdani even recently finished a report he wrote to the U.S. military forces shows his ideas of how to evolve the new Iraqi military institutions and answers this question:

Is the current Iraqi military force a suitable alternative for a national Iraqi army that can replace the American forces in the future?

Below is an image from the report, and if anybody interested I can publish/release/translate the whole report:

hmmmm. seems a little late in the season to be pulling a coup. an october surprise?

Posted by: annie | Oct 21 2008 20:30 utc | 21

Just pointing out that the Comments threads now have a "Next" link after the 50th comment, and a "Previous" link on the following page.

Either Bernhard has fixed this for us (you go, b!) or Typepad was planning this all along, maybe to lessen the download overhead for long threads for dialup users.

In any case, this does solve the problem of losing archived thread contents, and alleviates suspicions in re: censorship.

Posted by: jonku: threads fixed | Oct 22 2008 4:04 utc | 22

jonku, if you look, the url for the "next" link is different, meaning that any external links to comments greater than #50 in any thread are now completely broken

Posted by: b real | Oct 22 2008 4:24 utc | 23

"any older thread"

Posted by: b real | Oct 22 2008 4:25 utc | 24

sorry to read about your sever cold b, hope you feel better soon. i am sending you a virtual hug and some virtual chicken soup.

Posted by: annie | Oct 22 2008 6:04 utc | 25

there's some strange format issues afoot here. selecting OT-35 from the left menu bar initially brought up the page in a totally different style than i'm used to. anyone else?

Posted by: Lizard | Oct 22 2008 7:49 utc | 26

Dueling puppets

Astonishing…they ‘ve been distributed same
piece of paper to read …who wrote it? Sovereignty, hahaha…We all live in AmeriKa.

Posted by: vbo | Oct 22 2008 9:37 utc | 27

Lizard #26, I got a totally different style last night, don't know how, disliked it intensely. Clicking OT's on left doesn't do it now.

vbo #27, wow. Shameless.

Posted by: plushtown | Oct 22 2008 12:09 utc | 28

vbo #27. Yeah - wow! We know that they are sock puppets, but that's really in your face, isn't it.

Posted by: DM | Oct 22 2008 13:04 utc | 29

I couldn't see the prog. on Math..

This is a bit different, some may know it but it is great for young adults, a course they should get in school - that I post it. (Fine for highly educated adults as well.)

It is descriptive of our present plight and concentrates on causes rather than outcomes. Chris Martenson’s Crash course.>link

Posted by: Tangerine | Oct 22 2008 14:30 utc | 30

b real @24, yes you're right, my mistake.

There is a discussion on Obsidian">">Obsidian Wings about this.

Clearly the value of archived posts is lost if they can't be linked. I see also that if you go to the Next page, then Back, you end up with a different URL than you started with.

I trust our host is looking into this and will arrive at an adequate solution.

Posted by: jonku | Oct 22 2008 17:52 utc | 31

I trust our host is looking into this and will arrive at an adequate solution.

I agree, as I can acclimate, however, it is quite disorienting, and I don't like it. Any word b?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 22 2008 23:26 utc | 32

vlad and boris sing a love song to sarah palin.


Posted by: annie | Oct 23 2008 0:41 utc | 33

I trust our host is looking into this and will arrive at an adequate solution.

I agree, as I can acclimate, however, it is quite disorienting, and I don't like it. Any word b?

The ususal mess with Typepapd's customer "service" - first denial, than slow acceptance, ....

Posted by: b | Oct 23 2008 3:25 utc | 34

I figured as much, thanks for the heads up b...

The End of America: Film

Naomi Wolf – the essayist and lecturer, known to many for debunking
manufactured beauty in her book, The Beauty Myth – became concerned
about the erosion of civil liberties in the United States. Her research
led her to consider the histories of Italy, Russia, Germany, Chile, El
Salvador, Burma, and other countries over the last 70 to 80 years. In
2007, she published End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot
in which she outlines 10 fault lines along which democracies can fail
and freedom compromised. End of America is now a documentary film in
which Emmy Award nominated filmmakers Annie Sundberg and Ricki Sterns
capture Ms. Wolf's lecture along with interviews and commentary from
legal, military, academic, and civilian persons affected by these
developments in this country. The film which will have its world
premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival on October 17 will
be presented at The New School on October 23rd. Ms. Wolf will discuss
the film and her work. Copies of End of America and her new book Give me
Liberty will be available for signing. Sponsored by the Graduate
Program in International Affairs.

And, in case anyone missed it, here's her very intense interview from October 4 on KEXP: Interview - Naomi Wolf - Give Me Liberty.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 23 2008 5:42 utc | 35

obligatory election-year chomsky counsel on swing state votes, this one on real news network - Obama Without illusions

Posted by: b real | Oct 23 2008 14:55 utc | 36

Police prepare for unrest

Police departments in cities across the country are beefing up their ranks for Election Day, preparing for possible civil unrest and riots after the historic presidential contest.

Oh, really?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 23 2008 16:11 utc | 37

via secrecy news

GeoEye's New Satellite Offers Unprecedentedly Sharp Images

It's getting harder and harder to hide.

The sharpest commercial imaging satellite ever launched is now orbiting the Earth, sweeping over the North Pole and under the South Pole every 98 minutes, collecting high-resolution images of the scene below.

From 423 miles up, the GeoEye-1 satellite can spot objects as small as 16 inches across. Home plate is visible on a baseball diamond. Obviously, then, so are trucks, troops, aircraft on runways, ships at sea and other items of particular interest to the U.S. military.

And the military will be GeoEye's biggest customer. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency had agreed to buy $197 million worth of imagery over 18 months.

An NGA spokesman said the agency already buys images that cover about 122 million square kilometers a year. Those images are gathered by GeoEye satellites Ikonos and OrbView-2. NGA image purchases could double when the higher-resolution GeoEye-1 images are available, he said.

The NGA paid GeoEye $237 million to help build the satellite - nearly half the satellite's $502 million construction and launch costs.

Another big customer is Google.


At a resolution of 0.41 centimeters, GeoEye-1 is not the keenest eye in the sky, as classified U.S. intelligence satellites are believed to see in even greater detail. But the growing demand for imagery makes GeoEye-1 a useful addition to U.S. spying capabilities.


Moreover, GeoEye offers something that classified satellite images don't: color. Although color images aren't as detailed, they provide much more realistic images for purposes such as planning operations, [John] Pike said.

GeoEye published its satellite's first image Oct. 8.: a razor-sharp color shot of the campus of Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.


the Department of Defense and intelligence agencies might have been surprised by GeoEye's ability to build and launch GeoEye-1. "We launched GeoEye-1 within four years of the contract award, with no cost overruns and no change orders," [GeoEye spokesman Mark] Brender said.

That's "near miraculous" compared with military and intelligence agency performance, Pike said. "They delivered what they said they would, when they said they would. In military terms, that just doesn't happen."

Posted by: b real | Oct 23 2008 16:55 utc | 38

Did anybody else notice what Barack Obama just did?

To make his big necessary speech that the country is not divided into "pro-Americans" and "anti-Americans", he went to Richmond Virginia..... former capitol of the Confederate States of America.

Sometimes its worth it just to stop a moment, pay attention, and admire the work he is already doing.

Posted by: citizen | Oct 23 2008 17:02 utc | 39

the necessary speech

Posted by: citizen | Oct 23 2008 17:07 utc | 40


respectfully, i have no idea what it must be like to live in the belly of the beast but i do know how dreams are created.

i imagine i have a reasonable understanding of how the nightmare of late capitalism has been constructed

i instinct how the financial apocalypse will operate in america - that is to say it will mirror in one way or another - what happened in argentina - what seems to be happening in australia today with retirements being blocked by financial companies & the govt unable to guarantee deposits)

i'm impressed by obama in that the american political landscape is profoundly ugly - that he brings at least on the level of appearance - some decency

in substance, however - i cannot believe that this beast can be changed by the will of one man nor by a party that is deeply, deeply comprimised

it seems to me, that only when a bottom is arrived at - then perhaps some real changes will occur - out of necessity

truly mcain/palin would present the world with horror of a hallucinatory nature doubled by a metaphysics of morons that would necessarily reduce america but also the world

however, from where i am - obama is like so many parts of an american 'dream' - a chimera

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 23 2008 17:27 utc | 41

argentina in australia

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 23 2008 17:41 utc | 42

Regarding my #37

Perhaps they are not doing these preparations so much for the elections as for the elections AND financial PANIC. This fellow suggests we may see the markets CLOSED DOWN for a week or two , in 'the coming days.' Just in time for the elections eh? What and only to open after the selection?

Talk about Strategy of Tension... jeez.

don't want to alarm, but in the light of events, this might be useful. ">The One Hundred Items To Disappear Off The Shelves First

1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. of thieves; maintenance etc.) 2. Water Filters/Purifiers 3. Portable Toilets 4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 - 12 months to become dried, for home uses. 5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!) 6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much. 7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots. 8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks. 9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar 10. Rice - Beans - Wheat 11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns/must be boiled etc.,) 12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly) 13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY - note - food grade if for drinking. 14. Mini Heater head (Propane) (Without this item, propane won't heat a room.) 15. Grain Grinder (Non-electric) 16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur. 17. Survival Guide Book. 18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.) 19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula. ointments/aspirin, etc. 20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry) 21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene) 22. Vitamins 23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item)24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products. 25. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms) 26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil) 27. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item) 28. Gasoline Containers (Plastic & Metal) 29. Garbage Bags (Impossible To Have Too Many). 30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels 31. Milk - Powdered & Condensed (Shake Liquid every 3 to 4 months) 32. Garden Seeds (Non-Hybrid) (A MUST) 33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST) 34. Coleman's Pump Repair Kit 35. Tuna Fish (in oil) 36. Fire Extinguishers (or..large box of Baking Soda in every room) 37. First aid kits 38. Batteries (all furthest-out for Expiration Dates) 39. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies 40. Big Dogs (and plenty of dog food) 41. Flour, yeast & salt 42. Matches. {"Strike Anywhere" preferred.) Boxed, wooden matches will go first 43. Writing paper/pads/pencils, solar calculators 44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime.) 45. Workboots, belts, Levis & durable shirts 46. Flashlights/LIGHTSTICKS & torches, "No. 76 Dietz" Lanterns 47. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experience; Historic Times) 48. Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting - if with wheels) 49. Men's Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers, etc 50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient) 51. Fishing supplies/tools 52. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams 53. Duct Tape 54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes 55. Candles 56. Laundry Detergent (liquid) 57. Backpacks, Duffel Bags 58. Garden tools & supplies 59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies 60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc .61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) 62. Canning supplies, (Jars/lids/wax) 63. Knives & Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel 64. Bicycles...Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc 65. Sleeping Bags & blankets/pillows/mats 66. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered) 67. Board Games, Cards, Dice 68. d-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer 69. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets 70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks) 71. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & Antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water) 72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc. 73. Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave) 74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels) 75. Soysauce, vinegar, bullions/gravy/soupbase 76. Reading glasses 77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers) 78. "Survival-in-a-Can" 79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens 80. Boy Scout Handbook, / also Leaders Catalog 81. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO) 82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky 83. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts 84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras) 85. Lumber (all types) 86. Wagons & carts (for transport to and from) 87. Cots & Inflatable mattress's 88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc. 89. Lantern Hangers 90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws,, nuts & bolts 91. Teas 92. Coffee 93. Cigarettes 94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc,) 95. Paraffin wax96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc. 97. Chewing gum/candies 98. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing) 99. Hats & cotton neckerchiefs 100. Goats/chickens

From a Sarajevo War Survivor:
Experiencing horrible things that can happen in a war - death of parents and friends, hunger and malnutrition, endless freezing cold, fear, sniper attacks.
1. Stockpiling helps. but you never no how long trouble will last, so locate near renewable food sources.
2. Living near a well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.
3. After awhile, even gold can lose its luster. But there is no luxury in war quite like toilet paper. Its surplus value is greater than gold's
.4. If you had to go without one utility, lose electricity - it's the easiest to do without (unless you're in a very nice climate with no need for heat.)
5. Canned foods are awesome, especially if their contents are tasty without heating. One of the best things to stockpile is canned gravy - it makes a lot of the dry unappetizing things you find to eat in war somewhat edible. Only needs enough heat to "warm", not to cook. It's cheap too, especially if you buy it in bulk.
6. Bring some books - escapist ones like romance or mysteries become more valuable as the war continues. Sure, it's great to have a lot of survival guides, but you'll figure most of that out on your own anyway - trust me, you'll have a lot of time on your hands.
7. The feeling that you're human can fade pretty fast. I can't tell you how many people I knew who would have traded a much needed meal for just a little bit of toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne. Not much point in fighting if you have to lose your humanity. These things are morale-builders like nothing else.
8. Slow burning candles and matches, matches, matches

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 23 2008 18:26 utc | 43

& it would appear that goldman sachs, going, going......

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 23 2008 18:28 utc | 44

i'm a pessimistic man but watching the congressional hearings with the financial 'masters of the universe' gives me the willies with what they don't know, what they couldn't foresee, what they have no ability to control....

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 23 2008 18:39 utc | 45

colombia journal (oct 15th): Violent History Repeats Itself For Indigenous Communities in Colombia

More than 12,000 indigenous activists and representatives of other popular and social sectors of southern Colombia have congregated in the “Territory of Peace and Coexistence” in La Maria Piendamó in Cauca and are confronting a massive presence of state security forces who have been ordered to dislodge them. The popular mobilization began on October 12, and was called to protest the militarization of their territories, the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, and the failure of the government of President Alvaro Uribe to fulfill various accords with the indigenous communities relating to land, education and health. In initial clashes, more than 50 indigenous were injured and one killed.

On October 13, communities participating in the indigenous protest blocked a portion of the Pan American Highway that connects the cities of Popayán and Santander de Quilichao, in the department of Cauca, in an act of civil disobedience meant to force the government to meet with them to discuss some of their demands. Instead of talks, what resulted was serious confrontations between special police units and the assembled communities.

borev (oct 22nd): "President Uribe is Trying to End Poverty with Bullets"

More horrifying fun from the World's Greatest Democracy™. Apparently Colombian police have been opening fire on Indigenous Colombians at marches, and then lying about it. President Uribe even went on the teevee to say that the Indians were probably just shooting themselves, because he is that much of a dick. Then CNN produces the footage of the cops shooting. Point, journalism.

video rpt at link

Posted by: b real | Oct 23 2008 18:53 utc | 46

Brother r'giap, I suspect the do know, and they can foresee the
Wealth gap creating a social time bomb.

Growing inequality in US cities could lead to widespread social unrest and increased mortality, says a new United Nations report on the urban environment.

In a survey of 120 major cities New York was found to be the ninth most unequal in the world and Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington, and Miami had similar inequality levels to those of Nairobi, Kenya and Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Many were above an internationally recognised acceptable "alert" line used to warn governments.

"High levels of inequality can lead to negative social, economic and political consequences that have a destabilising effect on societies," said the report. "(They) create social and political fractures that can develop into social unrest and insecurity."

According to the annual State of the World's cities report from UN-Habitat, race is one of the most important factors determining levels of inequality in the US and Canada.

They've known all along hence the preparations.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 23 2008 18:54 utc | 47

Alan Greenspan is shocked?..hahahaha

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 23 2008 19:03 utc | 48

citizen 39/40, my son downloaded the harder they come soundtrack for me and i had pressure drop playing last night when i first heard the speech. it amazed me, so i played them both over and over at least 10 times. the combination of pressure drop juxtaposed w/his speech and the lyric 'is it you, oh yeah'. brilliant speech.

mcCain's team put the nail in the coffin w/palin going off about 'real' virginia. she couldn't have picked a worse place to make the claim. shit, that's going to bite them all the way downhill thru the election. not sure if they can pull of stealing it w/numbers like this.

Posted by: annie | Oct 23 2008 19:24 utc | 49

r'giap i cannot believe that this beast can be changed by the will of one man nor by a party that is deeply, deeply comprimised

it isn't the will of one man, and it isn't the will of the party. the only thing that can change the beast is the will of the people. obama is tapping into latent sorrow and disappointment and profound a sense of disillusionment w/the government and the direction of the country. he certainly would not be having this kind of impact w/this message if things weren't so fucked up. it almost doesn't matter if people really understand WHY things are so fucked up.

this is the state of the country and what you are seeing is not obama's will, it is the peoples. whether he can bring about these changes is also not the question. it is whether the people can while he is the leader. at this point i think he is far and away the best option we have at this time and failure is not an option. it is only days away and what it feels like here is people are very excited about the possibilities which include killing the beast.

Posted by: annie | Oct 23 2008 19:34 utc | 50

well well welll - facists are afraid of the dark

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 23 2008 19:59 utc | 51

appreciate and share some of your apprehension, but my perspective on obama is, as you said, from inside, where all this beast's digesting happens.

It is enough to see someone acting as if all the juice hadn't been sucked out of him, as if he were still aware of what suffering we are binding ourselves to.

The doors are closing as mass unemployment, starvation, and desperation get closer. The politics here will get uglier, but we will have to rally around each other if we are to rally ever. I can't give up just because everyone is as bad as me. It's enough that a politician can make me smile at a beautiful thing.

Do you know I've fist-fighting other boys since fifth grade over crap like "The South will rise again!" said by idiots who don't give the first thought to the sheer suffering they are invoking. I didn't know what else to do and knew I hated them then. So, black eyes.

I think Obama's speech is much more stylish than what I accomplished. So, it is to enjoy.

This country won't start its reforming overseas, it will be at home. And yes it will be because we hurt ourselves too much to bear. But we'll still need some leaders, and its nice to see an actual case of leadership, which is to say an actual case of people choosing not simply to define and 2-minute-hate the boogeyman, but instead

to see the world as if we all belonged in it. As if the first task were not to shut up all the people who are wrong.

Posted by: citizen | Oct 23 2008 20:58 utc | 52

& america has a habit of ending the lives of chimeras who become mateial whether they are the kennedys, malcolm x, matin luther king, fred hampton

there is a terrible ad on dailybeast that reuses the horton ad & it reveals an ugliness almost too unbearable to witness

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 23 2008 21:39 utc | 53

Oh god the link that giap posted reminded my of a conversation I had with one of my daughter's god parents a coupla weeks back (yeah yeah it's a conundrum my daughter and her godparents are atheists too, but that's for another time).

The bloke I was talking to was always my off-sider back in the union days. He was a good ideas man but not too hot with the people thing and capable of overwhelming some member in marxist rhetoric, when he/she came to us with a problem. The rhetoric which may have been spot on, but often didn't resolve a lot. In fact I would see the member's face cloud as they started to wonder if everything some bourgoisie had told them about unions was true. Then a bit of fast, corner cutting, problem solving would be in order. My mate hated that, he likes everything to be straight up and down, above board. Ugh! I don't often think about some of that stuff, it is appallingly easy to become a politician talking outta both sides of your mouth at once. I suppose a lot of leftie turned MOR pols got started that way, lying down with the capitalist dogs so often they became a flea.

Anyway unbeknownst to me this 'staunch marxist' had been 'investing' a lot of his income in a bunch of those scammy private retirement programs.
Many of them probably started off as credit union investment plans but as we know during the 80's the directors of a lot of finance co-operatives acted against the best interests of the members and pushed their organisation into 'merger' aka takeover with listed corporations. Those corporations have been swallowing each other up since then and now there seem to be only 2 or 3 'majors' left in the world.
Needless to say they have gone down the tubes in a big way during the financial infrastructure meltdown.

My friend had a lot of money in them and was already complaining when I spoke to him a couple of weeks back, that so far this year he'd lost 25% of the value of his accounts in funds managed by one of the corporations listed in Giap's link.

I was rather brusque. I'm afraid I don't control my dislike of the enabling of capitalism by giving it the means that it requires to oppress us all. Particularly when the person doing it is meant to be enlightened, or claims to be anyway. And I'm saying that me mate doesn't have great people skills!

This bloke already had a huge annuity coming in until he dies from his federal super fund and I saw this extra stuff as greedy and told him so. I also told him that I reckoned it would be karma when he lost the lot.

If nothing had happened the disagreement would have been forgotten - one of hundreds of 'political discussions' over the years that have got a bit too close to the bone, but now that he's probably done his dough, the fucking thing will hang between us forever.

See this is why/how the carrot of capitalism ensnares so many. When I'm not arguing some about why encouraging ordinary people's fixation with the accumulation of wealth is part of the trick, a deliberate ploy to obscure us from the murder and thefts necessary to guarantee the rich get even richer, I remember that my friend had a tough start to life, that his need for material security is the direct result of once being an impoverished outcast.

It's a damn shame; as Giap said above this is late capitalism, the end times are coming and people are never going to find out that none of the scams and scrapings they did were necessary. That being a whitefella meant not having to worry. If they had let go and tried to find fulfilment in any other way they could have enjoyed that while they discovered the game was so rigged that any half smart whitefella could get by quite happily without all of the angst so many put themselves through; only to find out now the brass ring has been snatched away just as they reach for it.

Now they will never have that realisation. For many of the peeps who locked into accumulation and have now had it snatched away, they won't decide that this was all for the cat. No, they will decide this blatant theft by the elites in fact proves that their thinking was correct, that the only error they (the accumulators), made was to not go in hard enough.

They will think: "If only we had done it harder and gotten out a couple of years sooner, we would be riding the pig's back".

Now from the outside that line of thinking is easy to see through. There is no getting out, once people start down the road of making money, generating wealth for it's own sake, few ever stop, they die rich and leave their hard fought for cash to people like me who immediately piss it up against a wall. That is why they were still 'in' when the crash came. The whole accumulation thing became so hard-wired it was second nature, the process became the outcome.

One story of millions. Watch the anger and bitterness get channelled into blaming 'outsiders'.

The elite fix will be to kill as many as possible in Pakistan, Afghanistan Iraq or somewhere completely different. Skip past the issue by encouraging vicarious bloodletting. Vicarious for some, very real for those doing the bleeding, who had committed the crime of living on or close by whatever it is that the ptb decided to covet.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Oct 23 2008 22:09 utc | 54

watching the elite's empty heads at congression hearings - greenspan & his ilk are as dumb as jackasses

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 23 2008 22:32 utc | 55

watching the elite's empty heads at congression hearings - greenspan & his ilk are as dumb as jackasses

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 23 2008 22:33 utc | 56


luckily, i am not able to get american media here except for cnn which seems to me to shamelessly support mccain in a manner that is both clumsy & coarse - there is no guile in their game. how the right can complain ablout the 'liberal' media is beyond me - all the media is at the service of dominant ideology

how anyone could describe the financial chaos as 'credit tsunami' is an enormous effort at trying to wash your guilt away with the wash of wankers who will wordlessly repeat it again & again in their stupid fucking media - these criminals whose crimes are covered(up) carelessly in the maelstrom of matter that is occurring before their very eyes

they have unleashed what may be the final crisis of capital & they carelessly cackle before congress - they should be saying it in front of a firing squad

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 23 2008 23:07 utc | 57

but then we must imagine - except for that media in its alpine redoubt at foxnews - they are all writing elegies for themselves & hoping like fuck we'll forget how they have operated for this last 8 years - drowned as they have been in their infantilism, their immersion into imbecility

you can visibly see it in the gonnoreah-ridden-golem blitzer & his pals cooper, king et al at cnn - & matt frei & his morons at the bbc - are feeling sick, sick indeed & though they know mcaain is a deadend, the real dead end, as is all the narratives of wall street & its gnomes - they are condemned like all haut-parleurs - to swing one for the gipper to the very last breaths

the medias role in the criminal practices of the last 10 years require a firestorm to cleanse them - not the empty phrases they have plagiarised from spùe caricature of a caricature

in a just society they ought to spend the rest of their lives cleaning streets & collecting garbage because that is what they have been doing in any instance - preparing us for our loss of civil liberties & making us complicit in their bloody & immoral wars

in a just world they ought to be forgotten but it is absolutely elemental that we, at sites like this remember & remember their crimes so that a miller, a friedman or a cooper will never be able to live very far from the stench of their lies

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 24 2008 0:07 utc | 58

...the speech is good without a soundtrack too.


Posted by: beq | Oct 24 2008 1:24 utc | 59

Heck, Sunday was Colin Powell and today the NY Times!
NYTimes endorses Obama:

It looks like the Democrats will end up with control of Congress and the Executive Office. What's not to like, eh? The beast will be killed by the will of 'the people'. The future is so exciting and bright that I will have to wear shades. I guess Obama was just doing the will of 'the people' when he voted for the bailout, and when he voted to remove 'the people's' rights (FISA) and allowed 'the people' to be spied on by government/corporate collusion. And his speech to AIPAC, well, never mind. I notice MSNBC has not one bad thing to say about Obama in this election cycle. Didn't GE just get a big contract to do electrical work in Iraq? Can GE work in Iraq without the help of the U.S. government/military? Just asking.

Posted by: Rick | Oct 24 2008 2:16 utc | 60

Rick (#10): Valids, all. My cynicism and frustration is no different than yours. I can't get behind candidate B for no other reason than the demonstrable fuck-uppery of candidate A, but I'm not a dualist (with apologies to them as are... cling to whatever straws you can when the ship sinks, I guess. Best of luck with that.)

I wish I could take comfort in style over substance. I wish I could see the world in clear-cut white hats vs. mustache-twirling villians. I'd love to be able to embrace the DNC simply because, unlike their counterparts, they maintain certain superficial pretenses. Can't. But when there exists no hope and no solutions, I can't fault them as do.

Got a buddy who has recently come around to the idea that I haven't been totally off base with my criticisms these past few years and now keeps asking me what's to be done... what can we do to ensure some measure of personal security now that it's become apparent that the shit truly is hitting the fan. I'm increasingly of the opinion that there are no solutions. Time for that is long past, but I just don't have the heart to tell him that. Don't think he could truly internalize the enormity of the hopelessness.

"Personal security" always was an illusion (tell the cancer you just got diagnosed with that you finally worked up the nerve to ask that cute girl out and she said "yes" or the drunk driver who plowed into you that you just paid off your student loans.) Maybe childhood here is over and the only answer is that the world really is a swirling, sucking eddy of despair filled with fleeting moments of false hopes in an ever-darkening Universe.

People keep finding ways and means to voice their dissatisfaction with the status quo... and I think that's a good thing. What I'm noticing, though, is that while there exists a pretty triumphal majority expressing what they do not want, we all seem a bit confused about what it is that we do.

Maybe it's because there is nothing left for it at this juncture but to sweep furiously while the chips keep falling. Maybe we've past "Peak Hope". Don't know. I'd cast my ballot for the Nihilist Party this time around, but I just can't believe in their candidate.

Posted by: Monolycus | Oct 24 2008 3:31 utc | 61

Monolycus: I find myself in a similar mental state, and it's not a very pleasant place to be. i try to explain to those around me, mostly coworkers and casual acquaintances, that i am simply preempting disappointment with stark realism, but then i feel guilty, like i'm trying to take away their last shreds of hope.

initially i hoped the blatancy of the bailout taxpayer theft would expose the scam for what it is. now i see how every latent prejudice will be stoked, channeled, and let loose to wreak the intended havoc. all the elements are in place. just a few more nudges.

i've thinking about JFK a lot recently, how maybe he was close to thawing relations with Kruschev, deescalating Vietnam, and outing the shadowy cabals conniving with the post WWII spoils. the Kennedy family isn't cursed, just marked, and the message is clear. this is what happens if you show the slightest hint of stepping out of line.

Obama has a family and i really can't blame him for doing what he probably knows he has to to keep them safe. they'll kill him without blinking an eye regardless of how many cities will burn. any ability to mount an effective opposition without violence is long gone. the window was wide open fifty years ago. that's been taken care of.

amerikans won't deal well with winters without heat and Costco without food and ears without cell phones and eyes without entertainment. we'll tear each other apart. meanwhile, the bushes will be sitting an a giant aquifer in Paraguay, happy and content. the Buffets and Waltons and Gates will have their respective islands and oil reserves. there will still be cushy positions to be filled for dedicated mercenaries, but for the rabble there will be chaos.

you can't tell this to people and expect them to nod their heads. that it could get that bad seems impossible right now.

no, that's not quite right. my racist social conservative christian grandmother is damn excited, when she's lucid, that she's witnessing the fulfillment of prophecy.

that sort of says it all, doesn't it.

Posted by: Lizard | Oct 24 2008 5:25 utc | 62

I know we should be meditating on "higher realities", but can anyone give me a convincing explanation of the amazing 21% upward move of the dollar against the euro since July 15 of this year. Such a strong and rapid upswing while the U.S. economy is in virtually unprecedented disarray
seems difficult to understand. A friend has suggested that the petroleum exporters are supporting the dollar to recover losses from the recent
drop in oil prices. That explanation has a number of virtues: it is timely, offers an at least superficially plausible reason, and indicates market participants with sufficient resources to influence such a "liquid" market. Better explanations are welcomed.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Oct 24 2008 9:24 utc | 63

first news story i've seen indicating plans underway for possibly relocating the AFRICOM HQ w/i the continental united states, from charleston's post and courier

Area may be a finalist for military HQ

The Lowcountry is in the running to become the headquarters for a major U.S. military command focused on Africa that could inject hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars of investment into the Charleston area.

The Charleston area is believed to be one of three finalists for the United States Africa Command at a site along the East Coast, said State Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, who has been involved with efforts to lure the command as part of the state military task force.

It's also possible that the headquarters could remain at its current base in Germany or be moved to Africa, he said.

"Every indication is we are one of the finalists," said Eckstrom, co-chairman of the task force originally designed to fight military base closures in the state.


A Pentagon team visited Charleston as recently as last week to conduct final site inspections, and a decision could be announced soon, Eckstrom said.

Eckstrom said one other East Coast site under consideration is Dobbins Air Force Reserve Base near Atlanta. He did not know the third location.


It's unclear what the Lowcountry's chances are, but the area is definitely one of several sites inside and outside the country under consideration, said Mary Graham, the chamber's senior vice president of public policy.


Graham said she has been told that the Pentagon is nearing the end of its selection process. Whether that means an announcement is imminent, she doesn't know. "They have been actively searching for a site. They are nearing the end of the search process," she said.

One scenario on the table is that the command be left in Germany, Graham said. In Stuttgart, Africa Command officials said they do not see the command leaving there anytime soon.

The command "is expected to remain in Stuttgart for the foreseeable future. Our focus is on the tremendously important work we coordinate in Africa, not on potential future locations," said command spokesman Vince Crawley.

Eckstrom said Gov. Mark Sanford also has been working behind the scenes to lure the headquarters...

hmmm. is this just more campaigning by the south carolinians or is the pentagon really "nearing the end of its selection process"?

Posted by: b real | Oct 24 2008 14:46 utc | 64


michelle obama a powerful rhetorician

this typepad thing really is a drag

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Oct 24 2008 17:31 utc | 65

I almost went and posted the link below at the Financial Meltdown thread, because... it probably should be parallel reading to the issues covered there.

How the US thoroughly destroyed Iraq's economy, and what remains behind:

Iraq in Hell
What the Good News from Iraq Really Means
By Michael Schwartz

Posted by: Alamet | Oct 24 2008 22:53 utc | 66

this typepad thing really is a drag


Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 24 2008 23:44 utc | 67

Yeah, this typepad thing is crap. And this latest hindrance comes at a crucial time where MOA thru b's and other's contributions about the Global economy are so valuable.

Posted by: Rick | Oct 25 2008 3:09 utc | 68

a brief in the indian ocean newsletter today (october 25, 2008) reports Kampala still rocking the boat: A number of different clues lead to renewed suspicion that Uganda is discreetly backing rebels in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

basically, it says that the united nations organization mission in the democratic republic of the congo (MONUC) is pretty sure that uganda's UPDF is arming the rebel front, the front pour la justice au congo (FPJC), which has been waging attacks against the DRC army

it presents several clues, but i found the sentence at the end of the article to be the most damning:

These clues have fuelled suspicion that Uganda may be supporting FPJC rebels. However, the MONUC is not in a position to provide irrefutable proof of this. Its officials have frequently asked for an autonomous intelligence service equipped with surveillance equipment, in particular night vision apparatus. But the US has systematically vetoed the request.

Posted by: b real | Oct 25 2008 5:31 utc | 69

ACLU Demands Information On Military Deployment Within U.S. Borders

NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union today demanded information from the government about reports that an active military unit has been deployed inside the U.S. to help with "civil unrest" and "crowd control" – matters traditionally handled by civilian authorities. This deployment jeopardizes the longstanding separation between civilian and military government, and the public has a right to know where and why the unit has been deployed, according to an ACLU Freedom of Information request filed today.

"The military's deployment within U.S. borders raises critical questions that must be answered," said Jonathan Hafetz, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. "What is the unit's mission? What functions will it perform? And why was it necessary to deploy the unit rather than rely on civilian agencies and personnel and the National Guard? Given the magnitude of the issues at stake, it is imperative that the American people know the truth about this new and unprecedented intrusion of the military in domestic affairs."

According to a report in the Army Times, the Army recently deployed an active military unit inside the United States under Northern Command, which was established in 2002 to assist federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities. This deployment marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command.

Civilian authorities, not the military, have historically controlled and directed the internal affairs of the United States. This rule traces its origins to the nation's founding and has been reaffirmed in landmark statutes including the Posse Comitatus Act, which helps preserve the foundational principles of our Constitution and democracy.

"This is a radical departure from separation of civilian law enforcement and military authority, and could, quite possibly, represent a violation of law," said Mike German, ACLU national security policy counsel and former FBI Agent. "Our Founding Fathers understood the threat that a standing army could pose to American liberty. While future generations recognized the need for a strong military to defend against increasingly capable foreign threats, they also passed statutory protections to ensure that the Army could not be turned against the American people. The erosion of these protections should concern every American." ...cont'd

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 25 2008 6:15 utc | 70


Posted by: anna missed | Oct 25 2008 6:35 utc | 71

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Posted by: biklett | Oct 25 2008 7:13 utc | 72

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