It is not surprising that Rush Limbaugh, spiritual leader of the Republican Party – the man who determines Republican ideology and who enforces obedience to orthodoxy within the party – now finds Pope Francis a “Marxist”. Pope Francis, spiritual leader to over one billion Catholics, has issued a direct assault on the Rush Limbaugh’s of this world, their paymasters in the business and financial community, and their political lackeys such as Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin, Stephen Harper, David Cameron, Shinzo Abe, Tony Abbott, and Li Keqiang. “I ask God to give us more politicians capable of sincere, effective dialogue aimed at healing the deepest roots – and not simply the appearances – of the evils in our world!” Francis put an exclamation point at the end of that sentence, and he could have said “give us just one politician” rather than “more politicians”, because it is clear when you read his pastoral exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (the Joy of the Gospels), that none of the men or women in positions of power over today’s global economy qualifies as a healer of anything or anybody.
Political leaders come and go, but men like Rush Limbaugh seem to linger forever. What is it about Pope Francis that makes Limbaugh see shades of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao? Could it possibly be criticisms such as these:
Continue reading Pope Francis – Marxist in Disguise?
Whomever I love, however I love them, whether they sleep in my bed or not, or whether I do homework with them or share a child with them, “love is love.” And I love our modern family. Maybe, in the end, a modern family is just a more honest family.
The day will come when a celebrity will announce they’re gay, or lesbian, or bisexual…and the response will be “So??”. People will love who they love for their own reasons and nary an eyebrow will be raised. Clearly, we have a ways to go before we’re there, but as increasingly numbers of celebrities become more open about their sexuality, people find themselves thinking about their own sexuality and prejudices. There’s no reason why the sexuality of a celebrity is of any more import than yours or mine, but our culture is obsessed with celebrity, so when a well-known person comes out, it’s news. Perhaps some day soon such news will elicit a collective yawn.
Maria Bello’s disclosure that she’s in a lesbian relationship came in a piece she wrote for the New York Times. She discusses her journey and how she finally came to find herself in a romantic relationship with her best friend. She writes about how she struggled with telling her son…only to find out that her son loves her for who she is and not who she loves. Sometimes, all a love one wants from you is honesty.
Any version of sexuality other than the majority’s “norm” can be, and often is, a source of great consternation and stress. Ultimately, though, the heart wants what it wants; we can accept it and grow or fight it and be miserable. In Bello’s case, she reached the conclusion that what was right for her wasn’t an issue to those around her who love her for who she is, not who shares her bed. I think we can all take a lesson from that. We are who we are, we love who we love, and if we can see our way clear to accept that for what it is, we might just find something resembling happiness…and Lord knows that can be in short supply these days.
Continue reading It shouldn’t matter who, how, or why you love…only that you do love
The U.S. will surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s top oil producer by 2015, and be close to energy self-sufficiency in the next two decades, amid booming output from shale formations, the IEA said. Bloomberg Nov 12
Well, I guess that means every thing will be just fine. We’ll have plenty of cheap fuel to drive gas-guzzlers and lots of walking around money from out new status as oil suppliers to the world. We might even have enough money to fund health care, Social Security, and fix our collapsing infrastructure. There’s just one catch. But first, here’s some more good news.
Tim Johnson of McClatchy just wrote an excellent article outlining the geopolitical implications of our new energy wealth: “Rise of Saudi America will alter globe, prolong U.S. superpower role.” Nov. 28. Rather than a slow decline from superpower status, Johnson makes the case that the rise in domestic shale oil production plus sought after U.S. oil industry services and technology will sustain the U.S. as a dominant superpower.
Dependence on Middle East oil will soon be a thing of the past. Johnson suspects that will make disasters like the Iraq invasion, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria a thing of the past. The shale oil boom, according to Johnson, has us fat and happy, counting our dollars from energy exports rather than bringing democracy (aka military action) to oil producing countries.
There’s just one catch Continue reading Saudi America and the State of Denial
The political climate in Canberra just got even hotter. Over the past weeks Australia has upset Indonesia, China and Timor Leste. East Timor has learnt that Australia basically used “insider trading” to negotiate the 2004 oil treaty. Alexander Downer the foreign minister back in the day muddles on. More background.
Timor Leste has taken Australia to the Hague, but stated it would not use NSA leaks.
Now Australia reacts, badly.
This statistic is less of a surprise than it appears:
Thanksgiving night shopping looked like a new family tradition this year as stores opened earlier and consumers took advantage of the extra time to spread out their Black Friday shopping.
The Thursday-through-Sunday tally, though, was less buying overall, according to data from several firms.
Thanksgiving and Black Friday combined brought in an estimated $12.3 billion in sales, according to shopping analytics firm ShopperTrak. Thanksgiving Day traffic grew 27% as nearly one-third of shoppers headed to stores on the holiday, according to the National Retail Federation. Many retailers opened earlier than ever, some at 5 or 6 p.m. Kmart opened at 6 a.m.
“Probably the most interesting is the amount of energy the consumer put into Thursday shopping,” says Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak. “The retailers did a good job getting them up from the dinner table and into stores.”
Continue reading Bad Economic News
This is quite an article. It’s almost droll in evaluating the shift in the global energy equation. The basic assumptions are correct but the conclusion about superpower status is wrong for a very important reason, which I’ll comment on later. In the mean time, enjoy this well written article.
Rise of Saudi America will alter globe, prolong U.S. superpower role
Tim Johnson, McClatchy Foreign Staff, Nov 28
MEXICO CITY — For the past 40 years, U.S. presidents have launched distant wars, allied with autocratic sheikhs and dispatched naval fleets to protect sea lanes, all for the imperative of keeping foreign oil spigots flowing.
That imperative has now subsided. Rather suddenly, the center of gravity of global energy production has swung toward the Americas as shale oil and gas fields in North Dakota and Texas hum with activity. America is moving to the fore as the world’s largest producer of petroleum and natural gas. Continue reading McClatchy: Rise of ‘Saudi America’ will alter globe, prolong U.S. superpower role
is like being grateful the mugger didn’t just kill you.
Continue reading Getting healthcare via ACA
With the economy on parlous ground, and the Pope nearly advocating Socialism, perhaps we should all decry bourgois attachment.
The Beatles could start us out; they learned some things can’t be owned:
Continue reading Saturday Jukebox – All Property is Theft! Musical Economics!
Reporting from inside Aleppo makes the case for a government offensive, soon.
Shortly after the Syrian government victory at Qusayr, Operation Northern Storm was announced. In conjunction with Hezbollah fighters, the Syrian Arab Army would attack the rebel-controlled section of Syria’s largest city within days of a June 10, 2012 tip from a Syrian official.
The attack never materialized. The Syrian army approach was more methodical. Regions, towns, and highways were secured approaching Aleppo that laid the foundation for current efforts.
The victory at Qusayr marked a major turning point in the Syrian conflict. After that, the larger city of Homs fell. The Syrian government began winning battles on a consistent basis. Most recently, the battles have taken place around Aleppo. Victories to the north and south of the city have opened up supply routes and provided near by facilities for Syria’s air force.
Reporting from Aleppo, resident and activist Edward Dark (pseudonym) predicts a looming battle for Aleppo based on recent changes in the military situation in and around the city. Dark’s article in Al-Monitor on November 24 makes the case for a decisive battle: Aleppo braces for major regime offensive, Edward Dark, Al-Monitor.
Continue reading Reporting from Aleppo, Syria on the looming battle – Dark visions
Oh, right, no problem. ROFL
My cat back channel sources inform me that cats really dig Thanksgiving turkey and will eat this treat to excess when given the opportunity.
They do offer some excuses, though:
- It’s “good fat.”
- My diet starts tomorrow.
- I’ve been running after a lot of mice this Fall and can afford the extra calories.
- I’m just eating the turkey meat, the humans got all the gravy.
- My favorite response was from my cat who ate heartily – Excuse me. You should just be grateful to have me in the house, no matter what my size.
I agreed immediately.
Images 1, 2, 3
“Our women’s movement started with the female guerrilla.” Sebahat Tuncel, Kurdish activist.
Vice just ran an article entitled; Meet the Kurdish Female Freedom Fighters of Syria By Glen Johnson, Vice. The article describes the impact of the newly created Turkish autonomous region in northeastern Syria. There are around two million Kurds in Syria, mostly in this region. The female fighters, as reported by Glen Johnson, joined the military and found a newly conferred freedom from their traditionally subordinate social role.
In fact, the tradition of female Kurdish fighters goes back to the 1984 Kurdish uprising in Turkey. Denied the right to use their own language in any official capacity or develop autonomous legal and legislative functions by the Turkish state, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) began an armed rebellion in 1984. Women demonstrated then took up arms in the fight against the Turkish army.
The Kurdish Women’s Liberation Movement formed within the PKK. The movement is based on four principles, one of which is truly revolutionary: Continue reading Kurdish Women Soldiers – a Challenge Syrian Islamist Rebels and Turkey’s Erdogan
So Happy Thanksgiving, America. May all your Hoverrounds come equipped with TruckNutz. May you return safely from your holiday travels without having actually punched any wingnut relatives in the nose. May your attempts to recite “Alice’s Restaurant” from memory be at least 30% successful. May you see everything twice. Or maybe there are some things you don’t even want to see once. May you get a pony. May you take heart that in many places in our land, families really will be starting the new year with health insurance for the first time. May you have plenty of reminders that not everything is terrible. And remember to Buy (almost) Nothing tomorrow.
Like a lot of us, I’m fortunate to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with people I care about and who care about me. Having been estranged from my own dysfunctional family for years, my girlfriend’s family has taken me in and adopted me as one of their own. Today we’re having Thanksgiving Dinner at one of the best restaurants in Portland with her parents, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to share today with them.
Over the past few years, I’ve begun to realize how important family is and how wonderful it is to be part of one- even if it’s not my biological family. A friend once told me that family is where you find it. The people you surround yourself with can be family if you choose to make it so; the important thing is to have people in your life who love you as you love them. Continue reading Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving from here in the People’s Republic of Portlandia
I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe day!!
Since the confluence of Thansksgiving and Hanukkah is so rare, we’ll combine the two traditions.
Continue reading More To Life Than Bacon – Sweet Potato Latkes