Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
This morning on the news I heard a guy say that the current bank failures we're experiencing are collateral damage from the all the people who’ve defaulted on their home loans.
PREMISE1: The bank lends money to the people, against the value of a house
PREMISE2: The people default on the loan
PREMISE3: Same time, the value of the house drops below the outstanding balance on the defaulted loan
CONCLUSION: The bank's failure is collateral damage
Get it? Get it?!
Get it? Get it?!
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
From Glenn Greenwald today:
Blue America has created -- and today unveils -- a superb new tool for contacting key Senators to urge them to vote against the FISA bill and/or to vote for pending amendments to improve the bill (if any of those amendments pass, a key benefit will be that the bill then must return to the House or be reconciled, rather than going straight to the White House for signing):
This first tool allows you to directly contact Senators to tell them to stand up for the rule of law and vote in favor of the Dodd-Feingold-Leahy amendment. (That's S.A.5064 to H.R. 6304 which will come up for a vote on July 8th, 2008.) Not only will this tool help you phone your Senators -- including connecting your call -- but it also gives us the ability to track positions on FISA given your input on what you ascertain during your conversations.You can read about how to use it here.
Every year around Independence Day I like to re-read the Declaration of Independence. It's pretty good! These last few years the name "George" has kind of jumped off the screen for me, but here's the passage that really grabbed me this time:
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Most of the Declaration of Independence is a list of charges against King George. Jefferson and the other signers knew they had to make the case for independence from England, but I also think they knew they were laying down markers for future citizens. Since then, the geographic boundaries of the United States have expanded and the Constitution has been amended because Things Change. And, granted, from its inception the US has mistreated people and misbehaved. But if I ask you to sum up the United States in one word, what would you choose? Up until the Bush administration, and even now, most people around the world would choose a positive word. That's changing, though, and we'd better right our course or we'll be nothing but a piece of land.
Reading the Declaration of Independence during the Bush administration always causes me to sketch my own list of charges:
Ignoring pre-9/11 warnings;
Unjust, illegal war and occupation with inadequate troop protections and terrible planning;
Spying on Americans without warrants;
Cronyism/corruption, including no-bid war contracts to the VP's own company and politicizing the judiciary;
Unprecedented secrecy in a government that should be of, by, and for the People;
Tax cuts to the wealthiest during a time of war and record deficits;
US ports remain inadequately protected to this day;
Fascist blurring of Corporate, Religious and Government interests
Use of troops as political backdrops;
Forcing troops to be redeployed over and over rather than drafting the general public;
Blaming troops for institutionalized torture;
oh yeah: Torture;
Hiding prisoners from the Red Cross;
Gutting of environmental protections (often by making them voluntary);
Claiming the right to unchecked Executive powers during times of war, combined with a no-exit, no-endgame, endless War on Terror with undefinable parameters.
Why, those bastards!
Anyway, Happy Fourth. Keep your thumbs off those cherry bombs!