Open Menu plus links; feel free to contribute just about anything

new silk road

(the last one is here)

‘Eurasia as We Knew it is Dead; The U.S. Knew it Too’, April 21, by Pepe Escobar

He concludes with:
“So what we have here is the makings of a Greater Asia from Shanghai to St. Petersburg – including, crucially, Tehran – instead of a Total Eurasia that extends from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Total Eurasia may be broken, at least for now. But Greater Asia is a go. There will be a tsunami of efforts by the usual suspects, to also break it up.

All this will be fascinating to watch. How will Moscow and Beijing stare down the West – politically, commercially and ideologically – without risking a war? How will they cope with so much pressure? How will they sell their strategy to great swathes of the Global South, across multiple Asian latitudes?

One battle, though, is already won. Bye, bye Zbigniew Brzezinski. Your grand chessboard hegemonic dream is over.”

‘Pakistan enters the New Silk Road’, April 24, by Pepe Escobar

Bill Black: Obama & TPP – ‘Every One That Doeth Evil Hateth the Light’; Yves Smith exhorted everyone to please broadcast this far and wide.  Hard to think of signing yet another petition, and it’s longish, but…

‘The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Death of the Republic’, by ELLEN BROWN

‘The May 2nd Odessa Massacre: Why Obama’s Coup-Regime Still Runs Ukraine’, April 30, 2015 by Eric Zuesse.

‘Why I am Marching on Mother’s Day: Police Violence and the Killing of My Son, Sean Bell’, by VALERIE BELL

60 responses to “Open Menu plus links; feel free to contribute just about anything

  1. I wished for an open menu, and here you be! I’ll see your list and raise you another, wendye – just finished reading this at counterpunch and my immediate impulse was to equate the EU with TPP – I haven’t seen anyone do that, but after reading what empowers the powers at EU, it looks mighty similar to what will empower the US-TPP. Just substitute Obama for Merkel here, and think Greece for all us peons.

    Happy May Day!

  2. Has anyone else been following Fred L’s posts on the Boston Bombing trial? Most of the ‘theorists and questioners’ have faded from view but some still appear to cling to their strange beliefs hoping for the killer’s eventual release because this good kid can surely be rehabilitated. Some are even sharpening their knives to go after the defense team for ignoring their pleas and not dragging their fantasies into court.

    Fred and OG have done a great job of explaining the mechanics and rules of the criminal system but Fred has become somewhat overemotional and inaccurate in his quest for mercy in this case. More than half of the US population still view the death penalty as appropriate and fair punishment for this crime. I still think because of this fact about Amerikans that a sentence of death, with a later commutation to LWOP, is the best outcome for both sides of this divide.

    I do admire people who have fought for years to do away with the death penalty or even just opposed it but do we really think stopping this practice will truly change the character of our country especially when many of these same people support killing people outside our country without any legal protections for the victims or any real legal justification for these murders.

  3. “. . . do we really think stopping this practice will truly change the character of our country especially when many of these same people support killing people outside our country without any legal protections for the victims or any real legal justification for these murders?”

    [I added the question mark, seemed appropriate.]

    Yes, we do think that.

    Who are ‘many of these same people’?

    Not me. Not wendye. Not most who post here.

  4. You are making me work, Juliania and I learned some troubling things about Amerikans in general and Liberals specifically. More than half of Liberals support the death penalty and 62% of women support it so we are surely in a minority opposing the DP. One survey suggests that 77% of Liberal dems support the use of killer drones some who could be the ‘ many of the same people’ I referred to.

    I made the mistaken assumption that a large majority of Liberals opposed the DP which is not true only about 35% actually oppose it.

    Even if the DP was eliminated these majority attitudes about the DP and killer drones will probably not change so the character of our Republic will not be affected in any but a superficial PR way.

  5. Sorry to do that (make you work, I mean) but my point was really that if (and I will grant you it’s a big if) the death penalty was eliminated as an option in the judicial process, then yes, I believe the character of our country would change for the better. Aristotle held that habit often in itself produces right or wrong attitudes of virtuous or non virtuous behavior.

    I always go back to Dostoievski’s message to the reader of his last novel:

    “. . .it sometimes happens that it is precisely he [referring to the hero of his novel] perhaps, who bears within himself the heart of the whole, whilst other folk of his era all for some reason have been torn away from it for a time by some sort of raging wind. . .”

    Raging winds we have a-plenty, and also I would suggest, dubious veracity to polls, as has often been pointed out. I really don’t know who can be called Liberal any longer – I’m a liberal artist, for what that is worth.

    My heart’s in Baltimore tonight. In more promising times I heard Robert Frost read his poems there.

  6. Well, there’s an Obamanable one for EU, too: TTIP Whether we take the TPP, TTIP (or both!); we get also get The $HAFT!

  7. And in case water is important to you, New Jersey passed a law to fast-track privatization of this public resource. Hello wendyedavis and visitors. Applying some to newly planted seed beds here. Two weeks since any even near substantial rain-fall.

    I missed this news last week.

    Peace and Resolve

    • i can’t think that there’s anyone for whom water issue aren’t critical, nonquixote. christie’s another thug profiteer of the realm, but there are just soooo many. detroit cut off water for another 30 or 40,000 citizens recently, and if it’s like the earlier ones, scofflaw absentee landlords are the cause of their unpaid bills.

      nestle’s bottled water division is out of control in california and oregon, including selling water that really ain’t theirs to bottle, although there are different versions of the stories, including the forest circus’s. but my guess i with climate change, the water wars will become epic, and new pipelinestans will emerge, not for gas and oil, but for water.

      we’ve had almost half an inch of rain in three months, although the peaks got snow instead (short-term storage). cloudy today, a nice break. blessings on your seedlings. mr. wd finished our new raised bed yesterday (the man can’t do a project slowly), and it’s already full of soil. ;-)

      on edit: during a break from sunday chores, i found this had come in on the popular resistance newsletter; i’d likely seen in on the twit machine, and forgotten:

  8. I was introduced to Joe Bageant just before he died and am not well versed in his life and work, but John Lingan’s memoir in the Baffler, Toxically Pure, seems to ring true.

  9. Nor am i very familiar with his work, lemoyne, but what i had read i admired. while i had no business reading lingan’s long piece this morning, i’m glad i did; what a nice way to start the day.

    yes, it rings so true, and made me think of ian welsh’s post last year lamenting the fact that ‘blogging changed nothing’. well, joe nailed it, didn’t he? too many ‘leftie’ bloggers were/are of the satisfied, educated class, and while they may have carelessly mentioned the importance of justice for all citizens, they really hadn’t a clue about the lives of the underclass, first americans, blacks, and the working poor of any sort.

    i loved his quotes about lysergic acid, including: “and to this day I consider LSD the Promethean spark of whatever awakening I have managed to accomplish in th[is] life”. how odd that while i lived in the people’s republic some of the same times he did, i didn’t know of him then. and oh, yes; what a better, more sustainable and just world we thought might be wrought in the late 60s!

    we sorta mirrored his back to the land saga, and discovered rather early on that we’d been born at the wrong time for such a thing to work. all of a sudden the world turned, and prices for even a goddam phone, repairs to machines, well…everything…made it necessary to get jobs to subsidize what was designed to be the simplest of lifestyles. is still extant; how cool is that?

  10. When I used to think Thom Hartmann wasn’t a soulseller, he had a good analogy back in the day. His spiel was that animals in a herd, I think it was antelopes, didn’t seem to have one specific leader when they decided to move on to a new grazing area. Simply one at a time they all turned to face the same direction, chomped that last blade of grass, then moved off all at once.

    I’m thinking of water privatization in Bolivia as being pivotal – and the blatant attempt by the ptb to suppress or orwellify the word ‘pivot’. Pete Seeger’s song – “turn, turn, turn. . .” Only, beloved Pete – you didn’t have to pray it’s not too late. It’s never too late.

    In the words of Dorothy, “We’ve come so far already.”

    • ack, yes, bolivia, and while i had to look up the particulars, that was an IMF project, with the winners™ being bechtel and other corporate monoliths. war profiteers of a different sort, eh?

      depending on the herd, and perhaps not antelope, but certainly not horses, science says (lol) that herds often have many leaders, but the fewer…the better as far as food survival, but it is a good analogy, juliania. do note that there’s now a Reply button above every comment, not that i usually remember. ;-)

      added: i stuck a ‘how to post diaries here’ on the categories list on the right sidebar, third one down. it may help when you’re ready on that new one about the slightly recalcitrant nun (is that the word i want?) ;)

      • Thanks! I hadn’t spotted that, dumbo I am. Gee, events are moving so fast I’m afraid I’ve left Mother Maria somewhere back in the snowy doldrums – thanks for reminding me; I’ll certainly go to the ‘how to post’ before anything curdles in the brain.

        Events down under – an aunt is 100 today (cinco de mayo)! Wish I carried her genes, but still it’s in the family, counts for something! And o boy, NZ pm is in hot water over a ponytail pulling. thedailyblog had it, then was picked up by NZ Herald and very tardily me. More serious than it sounds as this was harassment over a period of months. Quite amazing the Herald picked up on it, really.

        • our minds are forced to swivel, as are our heads, heart, there are soooo many burning issue: which to pick? where our hearts are, for those seconds, minutes, i reckon. long life is not appealing to me, but good on your auntie, juliania; it may be her heart’s desire.

          i need to add a few things to those instructions, but i believe that the post *may* facilitate things (or so i hope)..

          added on edit: i’d seen the ponytail headline, didn’t click in. but as for another not-recalcitrant, but so edifying a nun: i love sister wendy’s wee programs on pbs witless’, the darling. she even translates the expressions on the visages in paintings; damn, i love her heart and soul. a short one; there are so many more on youtube. pick your painter, time, genre…

  11. for your consideration:

    I just updated my ‘barbara grothus’s cultural palynology‘ exhibit post with new photos from chéPasa.

    ‘After Shocking Fundraising Totals, Bernie Sanders Defends European-Style Socialism‘, by yves smith.

    embedded video:

    ‘Syriza Emulates Nixon Going to China in a Bad Way’, by Yves Smith

    “It’s painful to watch the Greek ruling coalition unwittingly do the creditors’ work by wringing Greece dry of cash more aggressively than Pasok or New Democracy would have dared to.
    In a desperate bid to buy more time to reach an agreement, the central government has borrowed pension cash and ordered local governments and universities to turn over their deposits to the central bank, ostensibly to serve as short-term borrowings to make IMF payments. But as anyone with an operating brain cell must recognize, if the Greek negotiators fail to come to terms with their creditors to unlock €7.2 billion in bailout funds, this begged and borrowed money will never be coming back. Greece will default in even more desperate straits than it would have otherwise.”
    (the rest is here)

    Pissing in the Liberal Punchbowl Again; The Democratic Conga Line in the American House of Lords’ by Joe Bageant (he said it’s pronounced hillbilly style: bay-jent. ;-) from 2006, and thanks, lemoyne.

    • Thanks, wendye. I just was way too wordy on Yves’ latest excellent Greece bit:

      Maybe explains why Mother Maria (‘recalcitrant’ works for me) has taken a temporary back seat.

      • here is what you wrote, before a correction:

        “juliania May 5, 2015 at 6:21 pm
        Many, many thanks to Yves for presenting and highlighting this piece. Two aspects, that of Syriza’s response to the crisis and that of the banks’ indebtedness passed on to the people, arouse in me two trains of thought.

        The first is that even as Syriza falls short of its ideals, nevertheless, the ideals have been presented (as they were when youth rallied so nobly to the first Obama campaign.) So, in both cases, it seems to me the tactics came as a double-edged sword for the duplicy-practitioners: they raised expectations, then failed to live up to them. It’s a glass half full or half empty situation, and I’m going with half full. (By that measure, every well documented failure of the regime in question, as presented here, solidifies those rallying against it, said rally having been nurtured by the promises, kept or not. If it works for those advocating terrorism, that terror breeds terror, so too it must work with respect to ideals.)

        Okay, my second brain melt is this: I’ve been reading “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (not finished yet) and finding the parallels, which Hugo would agree with I think, since he does suppose that all history is cyclical. He’s looking back to Paris of the late 15th century from an age delirious with excitement over the printed, not just written, word, which he calls the new architecture of a new age.

        We now have the new architecture of the computer, primarily allied with financial power the way the printed word was allied with ideas, the old, physical architecture with religion. Yet, that alliance with financial power isn’t a natural one; it is being challenged by an alliance with popular power.

        It would seem there can only be three slices of the apple. Just as in the archetype Paris there were three divisions – the cité, the university, and the town itself. Just as in the Constitution of the United States, nothing is said in favor of corporations, plenty about the government and plenty about the people, and plenty about the common welfare.
        (The concept of architectural changes is very appealing, since ‘economy’ goes to the root meaning ‘home building’ – the same root term used by the Septaguint authors to describe how Eve was formed from Adam.)

        to my mind, she has one of the best and brightest commentariat online, including kurt sperry. and you, of course, more soulful than many.

    • The Naked Capitalism commenters seem pleased that someone is willing to step out and piss in the punchbowl. It is hard to see many others with the skill and experience of dear old Grumpa Bernie. A chart of the Top 20 Contributors to Clinton and Sanders (two Senate races each) makes it pretty clear just whom is scratching who’s back.
      The new-to-me news is that late last year Bernie (aka Senator Sanders, ranking member of the Budget Committee) appointed Stephanie Kelton of UMKC as minority Chief Economist is some pudding-level proof of just how different he is. AJ article has nice summary of MMT: and with Bernie’s bent that is clearly Progressive MMT. It is about time!!! …but it’s no surprise that the best hope for a Democratic leader is an Independent. B-D

      • stark, indeed, lemoyne. i’d given up trying to grasp mmt, much to joe firestone’s dismay. but yes, the al jazeera piece is a simple explanation as far as it goes, so thank you. the other gripe against sanders i’d seen at fdl was his support of israel (warren’s as well), but i did let my fingers do the walking the other day and found this piece from mondoweiss, fwiw.

        i’m tickled that you grok it, and are excited that bernie’s at least endorsing it with his endorsement of kelton, who (by the by) in video explanations is far easier to understand than firestone.

        ‘Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders get off Israel bandwagon, for once’, September 26, 2014

  12. Given that today is Cinco de Mayo, I had to reduce my political output. However, I couldn’t resist and despite the with following:

    E’nuff Said?

    Miss Travel, a web site for Americans that like to travel, have compiled their results, and they’ve announced that Armenian women and Irish men are the “sexiest.”

    And since it’s been a few years that I have traveled extensively, I have to disagree with the results listed above.

    Take, for example, when Americans cannot bring themselves to “visit’ the Sonoran Desert, other than the uranium-enriched Grand Canyon or for the recognized Iconic political observation that “Boycott Arizona” served a useful purpose, I am compelled to announce that the Women and Men of our wonderful Sonoran Desert are indeed, the “sexiest” persons on this planet, and given that today is Cinco de Mayo, only a Cold One can only take Second Place when it comes to quenching my life-long thirst.


    • i may have voted for italian men (though sexy isn’t everything), but this is great, jaango. and a good cinco de mayo to you, and to all of us. hoist a cerveza for me! or even a shot of tequila.

      okay, maybe a young ché guevarra, but given that someone calling themselves ‘pensieri d’acqua’ (thoughts of water in italian), and that being the language of love, and water (the unconscious) srsly being my savior in memory *and* epiphany…well, you get my drift. ;-)

      added in the morning: the most beautiful women in the world are somalis by my reckoning.

  13. “Please speak to me in either Yaqui or Apache!” Please, Please, Please…

    Now, I am having some cheery fun at the expense of Mark Halperin and the Bloomberg News’ version of Politics.

    In an interview conducted on April 30th, Ted Cruz was asked to ‘welcome’ Bernie Sanders onto the presidential campaign trail and done in Spanish, since Senator Cruz had recently speechified at the Hispanic National Chamber of Commerce. And Ted Cruz refused to respond in Spanish.

    And now with considerable Afterthought, Halperin has issued an apology for this encouragement. Obviously, Halperin and Cruz are ‘bigboys’ and don’t need to infinitely practice their “behaviors” either for good or bad, and subsequently, politics is now one for a bedeviled “gotcha” politics.

    And why it this important to our daily lives?

    When the subject of education comes to the forefront, and in particular, testing in the primary school years, no testing ever takes place when it comes to alternative languages such as Spanish or Mandarin.

    Unfortunately, all ‘debate’ is one about ‘traditional’ applications and in contrast to Common Core.
    And in all probability, Halperin’s second language is probably in French or German since his undergraduate degree is in Liberal Arts and which includes the Arts and Sciences of both Languages and for a well-developed skill set in Cursive Writing.

    In closing, Halperin’s “street cred” would be far more constructive and important, should he have the developed expertise from over many years of effort for speaking a “foreign” language that pertains to Native Americans.

    And yes, my “satire” does such on occasion.

    • you’ve lost me, jaango. wasn’t it cruz who refused to welcome sanders in spanish? how does halperin fit into the story? ye gads, at least dubya was fluent in spanish, and i’ll bet it got him votes, eh? halperin and cruz big boys? not so much, imo. ;-)

      i will say it’s to bad many first americans don’t even speak their native tongues (anecdotal belief, at best, on my part.)

  14. wendy,

    Halperin is catchin’ hell from his fellow Journos and all for ‘insulting’ Cruz after Halperin asked Cruz to respond in Spanish.

    And from another political direction and on the subject of “foreign languages,” Arizona’s state legislature pass a law that was a companion piece to SB 1070 and which prohibited any language, other than English, be taught in our public school system. Furthermore, “advocating” for a language other than English, is equivalent to “Treason” and as such, a person, can be indicted, prosecuted, convicted, and shipped off to Gitmo, without upending the Constitution.

    Now, if Halperin and Cruz were to “help” in changing this law, their help would be appreciated, indeed.

  15. i s’pose that halperin’s suggestion was deemed an insult, but both of them can kiss mah grits for the mockery. all the other journos, too.

    when was this AZ law passed? i couldn’t find it, although i do remember the english immersion classes…failing. i do know, however, that “ethnic studies” and “chicano literature” had both been deemed “unamerikan”, thus treasonous, especially and beginning with adolpho acuna’s books.

    i loved that during that time, whole caravans went to tuscon to set up stalls to *give* those treasonous books to students. dangit, i can’t remember which years those were (2012-ish, as here?), but: Glorious!

    ‘Occupied America’, ha.

  16. Here’s a Plowshares decision for a not-so-speedy release (what took them so long?)

    I guess it’s like when our internet connection goes down for a day or two – no refunds on time served. Seems like they should be able to at least bank it in case of a future arrest.

    Wouldn’t that be a great deal for all the releases due to wrongful convictions? Sort of like immunity to snakebite – you could do all kinds of community-oriented protests and count your time served chits as money in the bank – I like it!

  17. well, la forge tends to believe ‘july’, but unless i missed it, he didn’t say why there’d be such a delay, did he? i am sooooo glad he added the white house plan to upgrade US nukes to the tune of $35 billion per decade for the next three decades…

    I loved this witless’: “During the appeal’s oral argument, the prosecutor insisted that the three senior citizens had “interfered with defense.” Circuit Judge Raymond Kethledge asked pointedly, “With a loaf of bread?”

    can’t you hear sister megan chuckling?

  18. I’m kinda glad my wildroses, pink and red, have thoughtfully curved themselves over the gate, obliterating my view of the Pajarito Plateau from which ominous booms some mornings compete with the chitterchatter of neighboring swallows.

    Now if the May weather would kindly just stop pretending it’s March. . .

    • the roses sound delicately sublime, juliania. because los alamos, do you mean? i keep wondering if you ever read my post on barbara grothus’s “cultural palynology”, pollen forms in times of war and peace?

      it’s on the left sidebar somewhere…

  19. Wendy,

    The high school version of Chicano Studies practiced in Arizona’s colleges and universities, commenced back in the 1980s and was an outcome of a federal court case from the 1970s. Thus, the political fracture on the Tucson School Board changed from being unanimous European American and into Native American and Chicano, and the result was the implementation of a version of Chicano Studies. And earlier this decade, the Federal Court ruled in favor of the School Board and which caused the State Legislature to permit the State Superintendent of Education to threaten and even withhold both state and federal funds where possible.

    And in 2010, the State Legislature passed their legislation and with Governor Brewer’s approval, both SB 1070 and HB 1261 and which prohibited any teaching of a foreign language other than English. And to this day, the Law take precedent over any advocacy otherwise, an activist is crossing the line for “upending the Constitution.”


    • ah, thank you for the explanation. meanwhile, i’m sad, angry, enraged that another murdering cop will escape justice. it just has to stop.

      ‘Tony Robinson Shooting: No Charges for Wisconsin Police Officer’

      the cleveland ‘authorities’ have finally finished their investigate of tamir rice’s drive-by assassination. perhaps the child can finally be buried.

      and the senate voted down the fast track for the TPP; harry reid said he’d filibuster it unless they put chinese currency manipulation language into the bill.

  20. To several of your above remarks, wendye – thanks for bringing that wordy bit I did (think I’d been eating smoked oysters at the time) – arrgh, warning on ‘The Hunchback’ – it’s totally delightful right up until the ending which is Gothic to the nth degree – I’m still recovering.

    Oh yes on the marvellous bgrothus exhibition which you featured so splendidly ( and Che Pasa too) – I thought I put a comment way at the end, meant to anyway. That was an amazing gathering together of places and sculpture – unforgettable.

    And yes on Sister Wendy the art appreciator – she’s great. I have to get a book of Mother Maria’s writings and am awaiting my tax refund for that little splurge – could be a few months. I still do want to ‘do’ her. (I want to do it right, so I’ll have to eat more oysters.)

    Back to nakedcapitalism – I’m often out of my depth commenting there, but yesterday I did have a shorter one on the Syriza stuff; Yves ‘totally’ agreed, wow, made my day.

    • smokin’ gothic oysters, are ya? ;-)

      fun on yves agreeing with you. wonder what might come of the offer that greece join the brics? gbrics?

      ack, you may have commented; i just remember i kept making a mental note to self to steer you toward it, reckoning you’d love it.

      mother maria’s writings: you might go to, click books, enter the title, then look at the Used list. they’re all indy sellers, and my stars, one can buy used books, including hardcover, often for a song. dvd’s, tapes, as well. over years of doing so, i think i’ve only had one or two lemons, and the dealers have made it right. (star ratings and all).

      sister wendy just knocks my socks off with her earthy comments about the paintings and the painters, as she puts them in historical and social contexts of the time and place.

  21. i’d figured that anti-TPP activists had been celebrating too soon. “Senate leaders reach deal to pass Obama’s trade bills” yup, just add a few amendments:

    “The US Senate will vote Thursday on a customs and enforcement bill that would require a response to countries that intentionally keep the value of their currency low. Another measure would expand trade with sub-Saharan Africa by allowing countries there to sell goods in the US duty-free. Both bills require 60 votes to pass. [snip]

    “The announcement today will drive home the importance of the message that the pro-trade Democrats sent yesterday,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who helped design the compromise after filibustering the deal on Tuesday, according to the Huffington Post. “That enforcement, enforcement of the trade laws is a prerequisite to a modern trade policy, a trade policy that sets aside once and for all the NAFTA playbook. Suffice it to say that was the message conveyed yesterday by pro-trade Democrats.”

  22. For these past five days, I’ve had to contend with the Jeb Bush statement for positing that his brother’s invasion of Iraq was correct, and this subject has now become a potential firestorm during a presidential campaign.

    However, the Question that should have been posed and was not, comes from today’s consequential amateur hour that exhibits another example of criminal stupidity via the Fourth Estate.

    Thus, the Question: “Do you support the continuation of the AUMF Resolution?”

    And this “complicit” behavior via the mass media, is off-putting, to say the least.

  23. i dunno, jaango; i haven’t been watching electoral politics, save for noticing some of the unavoidable headlines and too many pics of hillary’s face. i did however, see a headline…somewhere…noting that jeb had walked back that comment. did reporters ask hillary about the aumf? acme pressitute off-putting? tsk, tsk.

  24. I’m not ready to get into the disqus food chain, but just wanted to comment that Masoninblue has a good response to the death penalty verdict at I’d have wanted to comment about ‘closure’ as I clicked onto comments there, and first up he does that very proficiently, explaining its absurdity and that with this verdict nobody will have closure whereas life without parole would have made it unnecessary to face future reminders, which now they will.

    All I can think is at least it puts the spotlight on the death penalty barbarism – pretty awful about Morsi as well, I think.

    [Rain, rain, and more rain. Arctic icemelt visited upon us desert dwellers.]

    • Fred’s initial response to the verdict was measured and thoughtful even though I disagree with him about who should decide what closure means, the victims who actually suffered from this attack have that right not mere observers of this tragedy.

      Fred’s newest offering on this case is anything but thoughtful or measured, it is a vicious reactionary personal attack on the 12 jurors who he knows very little about except that they think the DP is a just punishment for this crime.

      If the goal is to convince the majority that the DP Is wrong calling them names such as troglodytes, human residue, racists and prejudiced is probably not the correct, rational or effective way to reach their humanity.

      Another telling aspect of this case and some people commenting about it is that if there had been a Ringer, someone who lied about their DP opposition, on the jury and the anti-DP side had won this case they would be praising this juror as some kind of ethical hero.

  25. I don’t always go to links within articles, but this one on an Ellen Brown piece at looked too interesting to pass up, me being a constant train traveller, though the slow kind, Railrunner on a single track no less. (And our lovely Republican governor, who’s aiming at the vice-presidential mansion, even has her eye on eliminating that.)

    Warning: there’s a huge photo display of the billionaires in question at the head of this article – you may want to close your eyes and scroll down. And for those who have important other matters and time is precious, I will extract a few pertinent quotes in my second and third post here.

  26. Quote First:

    “. . . Like most think tanks, the Reason Foundation describes itself in the sort of generic terms it’s difficult to find fault with. The name alone suggests a decidedly non-biased group of stoic scholars, quietly pursuing truth from behind half-moon glasses and distinguished facial hair. The Reasonable Foundation of People Who Always Consider Information Carefully. The Foundation of Being Extremely Logical Like Basically Vulcans on Earth. The Seriously What Even is Partisanship We’re Just Doing Research Over Here Foundation. The page marked “About Reason” on their site gives a similar impression, stating, “Reason Foundation’s nonpartisan public policy research promotes choice, competition, and a dynamic market economy as the foundation for human dignity and progress. Reason produces rigorous, peer reviewed research and directly engages the policy process, seeking strategies that emphasize cooperation, flexibility, local knowledge, transparency, accountability and results.” Choice? Competition? Rigorous? Research? Those all sound okay. And so it should come as absolutely no surprise that, one click away, on a page titled “Trustees & Officers”, I came across an all-too-familiar name.

    David Koch. . . “

  27. Just one example from a list documented in the above article (my final quote ) – do visit the link for a more comprehensive discussion if you can:

    ” . . . In 2012, construction was underway for the Silver Line in Virginia, a new extension of the DC metro system. Residents of Loudoun County were robocalled by Americans for Prosperity about the expense of the line, and warned “Loudon cannot afford this bail-out to rail station developers.” The Koch brothers may have dropped the ball on that one as robocalls are the least effective form of propaganda, just below strangers screaming incomprehensible demands in the street, and so Virginians ignored the calls and the Silver Line began running as planned earlier this year.

    Now the Purple Line in Maryland, also part of the expanded DC metro, is coming under similar attack. In a Wall Street Journal article titled “Maryland’s Incredible Purple People Mover: How the state’s proposed $2.4 billion light rail could take taxpayers for a ride” this past June, author Mary Anastasia O’Grady speculated about cost overruns and wasted money. Ms. O’Grady is featured on the Reason Foundation website as the recipient of the 2006 Bastiat Prize, a prize and cash award given annually by the foundation for journalism. For the record, I am not saying that Mary O’Grady is not a responsible journalist. I am only saying that an organization broadly opposed to public transit and actively promoting inaccurate climate science, funded by fossil fuel billionaires who directly benefit from the destruction of public transit, featured her on their website and called her a wonderful journalist, and then she wrote an article about how public transit is too expensive. That’s. All. I’m. Saying. . . ‘

  28. Okay, this is the last I promise! I went to a list of colleges and other businesses donated to by said duo, and down a long list for the past several years came upon this:

    Returned Grants

    Georgia Tech Research Institute: -282
    University of Akron: -1
    North Carolina State University: -1,898
    National University: -473
    Trinity University: -2,163
    Baylor University: -237
    Linfield College: -1,073

    Numbering for some in the thousands – bravo, institutions of learning!

    • i’ve only had time to scan, but i am not a bit surprised, juliania. they are an odious duo, for certain. not billionaires, though, eh? title should have reflected ‘two multi, multi-billionaires‘ and of course at that wealth level, it’s a disease and a rand game that keeps them looting the planet and its people.

      given that i’ve been trying to create a post on ukraine for a few days, and that there are soooo many moving parts, and in addition trying to cook a bit ahead for a visit from our son and daughter-in-law, i’ll just leave this Koch money organization site link, and you can read the many dark faces of ALEC, not just limited to creating legislation to pour gasoline on the same people and planet…and then light it.

      • Love the turn of phrase here:
        — “robocalls are the least effective form of propaganda, just below strangers screaming incomprehensible demands in the street”
        Yes, screaming strangers engender some fear whilst robocalls cause yuk+click
        — “pour gasoline on the people and planet” + make them pay for it = Koch business plan.

        • yeppers; it’s a gold mine of a site, eh? i remember long ago, there was a scheduled Occupy event in tucson at ALEC annual meeting. a friend said that it would be a massive demonstration, and would be the start of the revolution. well, not so much. but oy: it was sottsdale, no less, home of the coiffed and pampered. how good the bing cache do be….

          but i love your addition to my characterization, lemoyne. when the brothers underwrite a Nova i want to see, i have to consider whether or not to watch it. (thank you so much, newt ginGRINCH. it’s a bit hard not to have a few violent thoughts when i see their *not* mug shots.

          i love the laws making it illegal for municipalities and counties to ban fracking. is there a new term we might use for ‘past orwellian’?

  29. Today Don Siegelman’s appeal was denied. IIRC, a member of the cabal that sent him up is on the Court of Appeal. Gov. Siegelman now returns to serving 6-1/2 years (about half done?) for the non-crime of re-appointing a campaign donor to an unpaid state board position. Siegelman’s Problem was that his state lottery would have helped poor black kids go to college AND would have also competed with Karl Rove and Jack Abramoff’s plan to introduce pseudo-Indian gaming into Alabama.
    Today’s Brad Blog post has a sketch of some of the issues in the case. It even involves the wife-beating Judge Fuller who is not just out of jail – he is still on the bench.
    If you are feeling strong you can get more (but not all) of the perfidy in the greater Don Siegelman case by viewing the trailer to the movie Killing Atticus Finch below. When the bright spot is Jack Abrahamoff spilling the beans, then you know you’re in deep…

    Tom Delay walked free after multi-multi-million dollar campaign donation laundering , meanwhile the Don Siegelman movie GoFundMe struggles to get to $50k. At least, this week the Killng Atticus Finch team picked up a couple of pros including an Oscar-winning producer.

    • One correction: the donation by former HealthSouth official Bill(?) Scrushy was to the lottery for education board. They sent Scrushy to prison too, most likely because he wouldn’t turn on Siegelman
      One addition: Karl Rove refused to obey the Congressional subpoena in this very case . The sordid mess that is Alabama politics weaves so much together, it’s no wonder that it hardly ever gets MSM coverage. TYT ran a piece in 2012 and will likely run another soon.
      One mind-bending thought: One of John McCain’s campaign managers appears in the trailer speaking strngly in favor of Don. Just think … McCain would have likely granted pardon or clemency over five years ago, while Obama (R) has done fuck all forgiveness or cleanup of judicial ‘error’.

      • Stacking the corrections here…
        *** TYT ran a piece in 2012 and will likely run another soon. [ this time with the URI/address ]
        The TYT piece is actually an interview with Don Siegelman and his case naturally includes exposure of issues like ‘you have no right not to be framed’ and ‘you can be sentenced extra time for crimes you are acquitted of’ . Don makes the point that Obama never really cleaned house in the DoJ, and the beat goes on.

        • There’s a huge piece of this puzzle that’s missing, LeMoyne. I can’t help feeling it has to do with that block of votes that got switched, but it’s certainly hard to tell from the little I know. But that would be my hazardous guess, that it goes to the heart of the system, where manipulation of elections is far more endemic than people would like to believe.

          • Of course, I am exceedingly unpolitically savvy, and timingwise it could also have been just another huge ploy on the part of Democrats against Republicans at the time of the conviction, to paint the opposition black so Obama could operate teflonwise for a bit, the ‘tell’ being the Dems never really wanted an honest politician released either. After all, Alabama. (Reminds me of the Hitchcock movie, “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” the title anyway.)

            Oh dear, conspiracy theories running amock! Maybe the poles are reversing?

    • thanks a lot for the heads-up, lemoyne. i swear i haven’t even heard his name in several years. i’ll read and watch as i ‘m able. interesting comparison on a possible commutation of his sentence between bush and obama, though. arrrgggh.

      i remember the service for james boyd; i believe chéPasa and miz ché may have attended.

  30. Whether it’s a glitch or not, I was piqued this morning that an article at on the airforce base in Germany that co-ordinates drone attacks refuses to be found – so I duckduckwent hunting, and this one is current and deserves a looksee:

    Good pics, even if you just scroll through, and the map is rivetting.

    • if it were one by elsa rassbach you meant, yes, clicking it takes one to an interesting-looking piece on the freaks in kiev.

      i binged the title and author (she’s a code pink member) and after following some false leads, at least found this one. a letter to angela.

      odd, but the journal of investigative journalism’s (UK) last newsletter said drone kills are decreasing; at least there’s that.

  31. Nebraska just abolished the death penalty.

  32. and largely through the decades of efforts by one black man in the NE house, as mr. wd (a native cornhusker) read. how fine!

    “We are excited to share that Nevada has abolished life without parole for all children! With one of the most comprehensive bills in the nation, Nevada is the 13th state to eliminate this extreme sentencing practice. The legislature passed the bill unanimously, and Gov. Brian Sandoval signed AB 267 today, May 26.”

    • good on nevada (although the link failed for me). i was about to say that next should come banning solitary confinement for children (or any of the six other euphemisms for it). but at least in nov. 2013, the aclu ‘noted some progress: Alaska, Connecticut, Maine, Nevada, Oklahoma and West Virginia have banned or restricted solitary confinement of juveniles.

      Legislation pending in California would ban solitary confinement in juvenile facilities unless a youth posed “an immediate and substantial risk of harm” to others and to the “security of the facility” and all less-restrictive options have been exhausted.

      In New Hampshire, pending legislation would ban solitary confinement for inmates under 18. And Texas has passed legislation requiring a comprehensive review of the use of solitary confinement.’

      but the report just concerned ‘juvenile facilities’, and tragically many kids are housed in adult facilities, and plenty are in 44 supermax prisons, most often always in solitary, goddam. it is most arguably: torture.

      • Sorry about the link, it was an odd little url. It’s good to see these isolated sparks of attention to some remedies, but systemic, interrelated problems remain. Torture is an accurate description imo of both intent and effect.

        • i’d reckoned it was my browser, to say the truth, so i tried several times. but you’d provided the main news, so i let it go.

          yes, small steps are good, except in the cases such as ‘obama demilitarizes police departments’, ha ha. propaganda as remedy.

          chelsea manning’s torture was what initially caused me to look deeper into that national disgrace. he has a piece up saying that he was afraid they’d stick him in gitmo; no doubt.

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