Vlad-the-Invader has been decisive in his reaction to NATO’s attempt to push the borders of Russia west of the Urals and to lose Russia’s only warm water port.
With Russia’s history that decisiveness should have been expected, and we wonder if the US neocons had a plan which included contingencies for that action and the other pressures the Russian Bear could bring to bear on Europe – increased gas prices and demand of repayment of Ukraine’s overdue gas bill and a threat to increase gas prices.
Continue reading US Neocons in Irons, Tacking towards Goal: Misery for All
Obama’s “I’m too old to cry” moment.
The Baffler, By Chris Lehmann, The Baffler No. 24, 2014
By any reasonable measure, the neoliberal dream lies in tatters.
In 2008 poorly regulated financial markets yielded a world-historic financial collapse. One generation, weaned on reveries of home ownership as the coveted badge of economic independence and old-fashioned American striving, has been plunged into foreclosure, bankruptcy, and worse. And a successor generation of aspiring college students is now discovering that their equally toxic student-loan dossiers are condemning them to lifetimes of debt.
Both before and after 2008, ours has been an economic order that, largely designed to reward paper speculation and penalize work, produces neither significant job growth nor wages that keep pace with productivity. Meanwhile, the only feints at resurrecting our nation’s crumbling civic life that have gained any traction are putatively market-based reforms in education, transportation, health care, and environmental policy, which have been, reliably as ever, riddled with corruption, fraud, incompetence, and (at best) inefficiency. The Grand Guignol of deregulation continues apace.
In one dismal week this past spring, for example, a virtually unregulated fertilizer facility immolated several blocks of West, Texas, claiming at least fourteen lives (a number that would have been much higher had the junior high school adjoining the site been in session at the time of the explosion), while a shoddily constructed and militantly unregulated complex of textile factories collapsed in Savar, Bangladesh, with a death toll of more than 1,100 workers.
Continue reading Neoliberalism, the Revolution in Reverse
So Who’s Ready for Another “Dumb War” Over Crimea?
Reader Supported News
“I don’t oppose all wars….
“What I am opposed to is a dumb war.
“What I am opposed to is a rash war.
“What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.”
Continue reading Obama Praises Iraq War
I discussed human trafficking and undocumented workers in class Monday. One surprising fact that came out of the discussion of Louise Shelley’s excellent book Human Trafficking is that not only are 75% of the people trafficked women, but that women are more represented in the ranks of upper management in human smuggling than men. That’s an ugly fact. Humans are just terrible. Neither gender has a lock on who’s worse.
One of my other courses is about Chicano history. Immigration is central to that story. The number of people presently being deported from the United States is absolutely unreal. We haven’t seen percentages this high since after WWI.
Read some of the back stories. It’s eye opening.
I’m afraid that the lessons we learned from Rwanda were zero. Sure, we intervened to ostensibly prevent genocide in Kosovo and we used Saddam’s genocide against the Kurds as one of many excuses to wage aggressive war against Iraq. The doctrine that came out of Rwanda, and Susan Rice has a lot of blood on her hands for how it played out as many people who worked with her at the time have told me, is R2P: responsibility to protect.
Where has that gotten us? Into Libya? How’d that work out? Almost got us into Syria too.
Read this article and ask yourself one simple question: how many children and adults would be dead if the perpetrator had a gun?
I, for one, am grateful the kid didn’t have access to guns.
Anyone see a lesson here?
Roy talks with great insight about: Capitalism, activism, Gandhi, non violence etc.
When Roy read from her essay, Listening to Grasshoppers, she said the problem with representative democracy is that there is “too much representation and not enough democracy.” She talked about how corporations have created structures that increase their decision-making power, leaving the rest of us with hapless, unimportant choices like “Pepsi or Coke?”.
Roy described how the arts has become one of the insidious ways the free market system wins control. Since it’s tough to find funding for shows and such, artists end up planning slightly more moderate events in order to secure corporate sponsors.
Read the rest at The Tyee.
I just don’t even know what to say or where to begin any more on this issue. It’s like an alternate universe any semblance of foreign policy prudence no longer exists. And to be frank: this is a dangerous place to be. Complacency kills.
Joe Pagliarulo is not a man I agree with on much of anything. Until today. He’s Glenn Beck’s guest host when Beck is out sick or on vacation. Joe also has his own talk show in San Antonio. He joined Chris and I in the studio today and we had a very thoughtful exchange on the challenges of getting people engaged. Here’s a short Youtube teaser:
For the full show, visit this link, and start around minute 37:45. It really is one of the segments on radio I am proud to have been a part of. Right and left can agree on many things. We just have to sit down and create an environment where we can talk frankly without being so quick to feel slighted. Civility is possible, but it requires patience and dedication.
While this would be good for Texas in the short term, as El Nino’s tend to produce lots of rain for Texas, in the long term when the La Nina reversal occurs, Texas has bad droughts. Very bad.
That’s how it plays out locally, but globally? It could be very ugly.
From FireDogLake, By kspopulist, April 7
Weekend, overnight exploits by purchased ideologues and rank amateurs in the Kansas State legislature stripped KS public school teachers of due process rights. This will require all teachers to renegotiate their contracts without any union or other support and make them subject to termination if they don’t. Or if administrators randomly feel like it, or are pressured to do so by rank amateurs, apparently.
Local papers talked about it airily in distant terms, couching the breaking of thousands of teacher contracts in dismissive, second-hand terms. The Kansas City Star characterizes it as a solution to long intractable problems but still gives some substance of this evisceration, just farther down the column.
More substance of the bill being sent to Governor’s desk came from Topeka Capitol Journal on Sunday. This article has Tim Carpenter managing to point out that the state supreme court had showed that the state legislature had failed to provide enough school funds to areas with a lower taxbase. So this bill is how the legislature responded.
A rallying cry in the chamber apparently went up by the bill’s proponents of ‘What was so bad about state education before ‘Brown v Board of Education?’ as it was prepared for vote. This bill will take the state’s education system to a point prior to 1957 when teachers did not have tenure rights. more at the link