we can thrive

Thrivable:

The illusion of infinite growth, like the Emperor’s New Clothes, is maintained by the Emperor. The citizenry see something naked and ridiculous which can’t be sustained.

Much like the housing crisis and the dot-com boom/bust, the Wall Street Empire is revealed as naked, even to the emperor himself. #OWS has already succeeded by one measure, they broke the shared fiction about Wall Street for all of us.

And:

What was once a useful distinction between the left and the right has become artificially crafted polarity of two sides to the same position.

The majority of the left and the right have come so close to the center to serve corporate interests and woo uncertain voters, that they collapsed into each other in a meaningless muddle.

national delusion

Barry Ritholtz breaks it down for you.

No matter the GOP spin, we cannot blame housing policies from the 1930s or mortgage tax deductibility from even before that.

It is a statistical invalid argument, as the data show.

Examining the big lie: How the facts of the economic crisis stack up.

we voters abandoned

An examination of public documents involving Mr. Lauder’s companies, investments and charities offers a glimpse of the wide array of legal options for the world’s wealthiest citizens to avoid taxes both at home and abroad.

His vast holdings — which include hundreds of millions in stock, one of the world’s largest private collections of medieval armor, homes in Washington, D.C., and on Park Avenue as well as oceanfront mansions in Palm Beach and the Hamptons — are organized in a labyrinth of trusts, limited liability corporations and holding companies, some of which his lawyers acknowledge are intended for tax purposes.

HA! 

detained without morality

“Perhaps the worst part of this immensely distressing story is how unexceptional it is.”

There is abundant evidence that rape is a systemic problem in our immigration detention facilities—for women, for men, and, as the Women’s Refugee Commission has documented, for children. In 2010, Human Rights Watch released a report based on over fifty known incidents and allegations of sexual abuse of immigration detainees. The American Civil Liberties Union has discovered 185 government reports of such allegations since 2007, and a senior ACLU staff attorney says this is only “the tip of the iceberg.” Based on studies by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the US government estimates that over 216,600 people are sexually abused in its prisons, jails, and juvenile detention facilities every year. Such comprehensive data do not exist for DHS facilities, and many fewer people are held in immigration detention than in prisons and jails. However, there is good reason to believe that, proportionally, the rates of abuse may be even higher for immigrants in government custody than for prisoners.

“It would be hard to imagine a greater betrayal of the ideals and origins of a nation of immigrants than systemic abuse of this kind, perpetrated as it usually is by agents of the government.”

journalism achievements

via Salon: Australia awarded its highest distinction for ‘Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism‘ to WikiLeaks.

“WikiLeaks easily produced more newsworthy scoops over the last year than every other media outlet combined.”

“WikiLeaks and its editor-in-chief Julian Assange took a brave, determined and independent stand for freedom of speech and transparency that has empowered people all over the world.”

the myth float

Great slogan but “we are the 99%” aims too low.

Why do Republicans advocate further tax cuts for the very rich even as they warn about deficits and demand drastic cuts in social insurance programs?

Well, aside from shouts of “class warfare!” whenever such questions are raised, the usual answer is that the super-elite are “job creators” — that is, that they make a special contribution to the economy.

It’s really the top 0.1%, not 1%, that have escaped with such a large slice of the pie.

And who are they? Let’s get one thing straight: They are not, on the whole, “job creators”.

our new feudalism

..we’re on a trajectory

…we’re collapsing towards ‘neofeudalism’

…what does it look and feel like?

I’d say it has five key characteristics:

  1. Neoserfdom.
  2. Output fetishism.
  3. Kleptarchy. …governance as we know it isn’t.
  4. Patronage. …replaces meritocracy (etc).
  5. Cronyism. …directing the flow resources.

a plundering spree

Ian Walsh:

Which leads us to the sudden surge in the price of oil to $107 a barrel.  On the face of it, this is crazy.

Yes, the US has had a bit of a recovery, but Europe is going hard core austerity.  But this is the game the hot money is playing: they move out of bonds and into oil, out of oil and into bonds.  $107/barrel oil means the US recovery (such as it is, which isn’t much) isn’t going to last much longer.

Being rich is about being liquid when everyone else isn’t, so you can buy up assets on the cheap.

When [IF] the rich are properly under control (ie. when you keep them terrified of government and the people, as they should be) they can’t create such buying opportunities, they have to wait for them….

Right now the rich can and are crashing asset prices by forcing countries into austerity through attacks on their currencies and control of their political elites.  They then buy up assets for fire-sale prices.

These attacks …are deranged.

These attacks are about power: the global rich were bailed out after the crash, now they are using their hot money in attack after attack, demanding austerity, which will cause semi-permanent depression in those countries which accept it.

All of this is crazy.

The financial elites are on a plundering spree, gleefully using their power to force entire nations into poverty, blackmailing governments into huge payouts.

revelation politics

Cain speaks for nearly a half an hour [at Florida’s The Holy Land Experience amusement park] and despite a couple fleeting “999” mentions, keeps his speech to topics of faith and his recent battle with cancer.

He begins with a story about how he knew he would survive when he discovered that his physician was named “Dr. Lord,” that the hospital attendant’s name was “Grace” and that the incision made on his chest during the surgery would be in the shape of a “J.”

“Come on, y’all. As in J-E-S-U-S! Yes! A doctor named Lord! A lady named Grace! And a J-cut for Jesus Almighty,” Cain boomed.

He did have a slight worry at one point during the chemotherapy process when he discovered that one of the surgeon’s name was “Dr. Abdallah.”

“I said to his physician assistant, I said, ‘That sounds foreign–not that I had anything against foreign doctors–but it sounded too foreign,” Cain tells the audience. “She said, ‘He’s from Lebanon.’ Oh, Lebanon! My mind immediately started thinking, wait a minute, maybe his religious persuasion is different than mine! She could see the look on my face and she said, ‘Don’t worry, Mr. Cain, he’s a Christian from Lebanon.'”

“Hallelujah!” Cain says. “Thank God!” 

Story at Yahoo News.

This Republican has had enough.

For the past three years, the media have praised the enthusiasm and energy the tea party has brought to the GOP. Yet it’s telling that that movement has failed time and again to produce even a remotely credible candidate for president. Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich: The list of tea-party candidates reads like the early history of the U.S. space program, a series of humiliating fizzles and explosions that never achieved liftoff. A political movement that never took governing seriously was exploited by a succession of political entrepreneurs uninterested in governing—but all too interested in merchandising. Much as viewers tune in to American Idol to laugh at the inept, borderline dysfunctional early auditions, these tea-party champions provide a ghoulish type of news entertainment each time they reveal that they know nothing about public affairs and have never attempted to learn. But Cain’s gaffe on Libya or Perry’s brain freeze on the Department of Energy are not only indicators of bad leadership.

They are indicators of a crisis of followership.

The tea party never demanded knowledge or concern for governance, and so of course it never got them.

the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass

I AM the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass.

Do you know that all the great work of the world is
done through me?

I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the
world’s food and clothes.

I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons
come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And
then I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns.

I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand
for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me.
I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted.
I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and
makes me work and give up what I have. And I
forget.

Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red
drops for history to remember. Then—I forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the
People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer
forget who robbed me last year, who played me for
a fool–then there will be no speaker in all the world
say the name: “The People,” with any fleck of a
sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.

The mob–the crowd–the mass–will arrive then.

Carl Sandburg