Saturday, November 25, 2006


The “free” market drives down gas prices before the election.- Conspiracy theory huh?According to Trilby Lundberg, whose Lundberg Survey of gas prices showed a five-cent hike after the election, the recent price hike -- after three months of plummeting retail costs -- is a result of the market having "soaked up" a "mini-glut" of crude oil from August, causing a "normalization" of supply and demand.
What's the source of said "mini-glut"? ....Goldman Sachs, which runs the largest commodity index, the G.S.C.I., said in early August that it was reducing the index's weighting in gasoline futures significantly. The announcement did not make big headlines, but it has reverberated through the markets in the weeks since and some other investors who had been betting that gasoline would rise followed suit on their weightings.
"They started unwinding their positions, and those other longs also rushed to the door at the same time," said Lawrence J. Goldstein, president of the Petroleum Industry Research Foundation. The August announcement by Goldman Sachs caught some traders by surprise.
To be precise, that was $6 billion worth of gas futures dumped on the market like a sack of potatoes, catching "traders by surprise."

Blogger Raymond Keller notes that Goldman's move came just weeks after its former Chairman and CEO became a Bushie:
President George W. Bush nominated Henry M. Paulson, Jr. to be the 74th Secretary of the Treasury on June 19, 2006. The United States Senate unanimously confirmed Paulson to the position on June 28, 2006 and he was sworn into office on July 10, 2006.
So what does Goldman do just weeks after Paulson is sworn in as Treasury Secretary?
It announces a subtle move that drives down gasoline prices, short-term. ....What really strikes me about this story is the degree to which the idea that gas prices could be manipulated for political purposes caused so much cognitive dissonance among so many otherwise intelligent people. We know that markets are constantly being manipulated for financial gain, we know that the big oil companies have colluded in the past and we know there was ample motive for doing so now. I think it's a testament to how deeply indoctrinated the American public, or at least American opinion makers, are into the mythology of the free market, supposedly pristine and uncalculating.

Glenn Greenwald and I agree. The radical rights game is to accuse others of what is a mirror image of themselves.

Everything they accuse others of doing -- exploiting national security for domestic political gain, being 'unserious' about war matters, playing games with the mission of the troops -- is what they do as transparently as possible. And note how they used a senior military official to make the disgusting claim that the violence in Iraq was related to a desire to help Democrats win the midterm election: "A U.S. military spokesman in Iraq last week attributed the increase in violence at least partly to terrorists who want to influence the American vote."The idea that the sectarian violence in Iraq, which has been spiraling out of control since the beginning of the year, had anything to do with trying to make Democrats win the election was always as transparently false -- stupid even -- as it was repugnant. Yet they say anything, and the media largely lets them get away with it........Nobody glorifies the power of the Islamic Terrorists more than Bush followers do. As The Heretik says in comments: "What's so impressive about the terrorists and the insurgents and the Shiites and the Sunnis who yearn so for the inevitable caliphate that will stretch from Spain to Pluto and beyond is that even as they fight amongst themselves, they have time to sit down and figure out how to influence our politics here." And he says over at his own blog: "Our midterm elections are over and the violence that was raised to influence those results has spiked even higher"........So, to recap: when insurgents engage in violence before the elections, that's the fault of Democrats because it's done to help them win (and credit to Republicans because it shows how tough they are on The Terrorists). When the insurgents engage in violence after the elections, that's also the fault of Democrats because they are excited by the Democrats' success (and credit to Republicans because Republicans want to stay forever, which makes the insurgents sad and listless). And when there is no violence, all credit to Republicans because it shows how great their war plan is.Put another way, no matter what happens in Iraq (violence increases, violence decreases), and no matter when it happens (before the election, after the election), it is the fault of Democrats and it reflects well on the Republicans. Isn't it fair to say that that's the very definition of the mindset of a cultist?

Dobson thinks liberals have no “moral compass”
Dobson said, for example, that progressives aren’t in a position to question others’ morality, because we don’t believe in right and wrong.
“We’re all inclined to look at other people, but it’s interesting to me that those, again, on the more liberal end of the spectrum are often those who have no value system or at least they say there is no moral and immoral, there is no right or wrong. It’s moral relativism…. So they say there is no right and wrong. But when a religious leader [Ted Haggard], especially an evangelical falls, guess who is the most judgmental of him and calling him a hypocrite and those things? Those that said there is no right and wrong in the first place.”
It’s fascinating. Dobson seems to literally believe that liberals have no moral compass at all. Given recent events involving the most pious among us — Haggard, Swaggart, Bakers, Falwell, Robertson, Roman Catholic sex scandals — I’m not quite sure why Dobson believes Christian conservatives have the moral high ground. Larry King didn’t ask.

Ron: Holy deluded do you have to be to believe this slime~!? I am a liberal or progressive, whatever you want to call it, and I dare you to tell my parents that I have no moral compass! How much of the country is he proclaiming totally without any morals? What do you think matters of war and peace are about? How about caring for the least among us? How about equality for all? How about preserving nature(Gods creation) I could go on and on. Why do people continue to spew such obvious falsehoods. Do they really believe stuff like this? I would say that if they really in their heart believe it they have a societally dangerous mental problem.

Sunday Editorial

Well, I am giving up on the podcast thing for right now. Still looking for a free or low priced server if you have any recommendations. I will post the most of the text just so all my hard work won't go to waste.!
We have said for some time that Iraq was an immoral war and a diversion that was making terrorism worse not better. Certainly Saddam was immoral himself but is what we see today any better? Has it helped us defeat those that would do us harm. There is no looking back but just imagine what might have happened if we had continued this struggle in Afghanistan and continued to pursue Osama bin laden with the entire world on our side. ...Which brings me to another point.
The radical right likes to note how they perceive the left is aiding the terrorists. How much more help could we give them than to present them as world beaters and someone the US should be frightened out of their wits of. .This for those who really do hate America emboldens them more than anything I can imagine. For those that would follow us makes us look like we are easily frightened and not exactly the strong leader one would want to follow. For the thick of head, lets use a real world example. Lets say you work for a very well financed and powerful company. 3rd quarter result come in and a small very modestly financed company has great results and took a little of your market share. How would you expect your boss to react.? Would you want him to panic and start spending huge amounts of the companies money. Warning you that your company is in serious danger and if you don't do whatever he says and if the share holders don't agree with his path that the company will go belly up and everybody will lose their job. ....Or would you prefer the one that stated the truth and said that the company had left open a hole that someone had slipped in and steps would be taken to close the holes. We are number one for a reason and part of it is the people that make it work. You do your part and we will do ours and we will easily weather this storm. Our challenge is to make it happen and I have confidence we will. ...Maybe he could list some things that the individual employees could do so they could play a part. He could incentivise departments to come up with specific solutions. ......What do you want in your workplace, panic and fear or confidence and understandable solutions?
Back when I was doing the radio show it was a popular meme that one thing people liked about George Bush is that he was a strong leader. I expressed my dismay at this statement. Beyond his bullhorn moment I haven't see any indication that he was anything but a confused bumbling bully. I know the solidly red area I live in was appalled that I would dare say such a thing but I think many more would now agree that success and solutions are not a part of his makeup. ..He is a horrible example of a leader and his lack of ability has had detrimental implications on a global basis.
I saw someone on a conservative site the other night point to a Brookings institute study on how there is now 40% unemployment instead of 60, more cars , and better or more of this or that. I have no doubt that some things have moved forward. The question is it in relation to the effort and sacrifices we have suffered. I would be curious to see how well my state of New Mexico would be doing if the government was giving us somewhere around 100 billion a year. Certainly the situation is different with a war in Iraq but did we or the Iraqis get our moneys worth. Was it properly spent. Are we anywhere close to accomplishing what needs to be done. If you think so I dare you to challenge me that the answer is yes to any of those questions. It is clearly no and an entire program can and might be done on why. Additionally We now have more terrorists and terrorism than ever. The Iraqis are establishing relations with Iran and Syria whom we perceive as enemies. The world is more fearful and distrustful of America..the most heavily armed country in the world than they are of the terrorists we all started out agreeing to fight.A great leader would have continued to use the 9/11 situation to work with those around the world tired of terrorism. To strengthen our security at home on ports, chemical plants, nuclear facilities and other infrastructure. To push a Manhattan type project to move off any dependence on foreign oil and back towards self sufficiency on other products and goods. Instead what we got was a non leader who ...lost focus on the agreed to mission with a purpose that was clear to all and switched priorities to an unfocused mission that the worlds share holders seriously disagreed on. He then preceded to say that only his way would work and everyone else was not only wrong but wanted the country we all had a stake in fail if they disagreed. He stated he needed to do things that were outside the bylaws to insure survival. It shouldn't be to hard to tell the difference between bravery and resoluteness and panic and authoritarianism. It would have been far better to work quietly on the terrorism issue and minimize and marginalize the opposition instead of turning them into world beaters in the eyes of the public. That and so much more, most notably his lack of progress and obvious signs of failure on so many fronts make it obvious that a leader he is not. For those in the loyal opposition that keep saying government should be run like a business and proclaim to be the best of managers it is quite sad that they were among the last to see it. And when for years we pointed out that these people were not conservatives they continued to poo poo us as wacky liberals. Now even Rushbo has said that the republicans have lost there way. I'd say that was putting it mildly. What they have done is not only nonconservative or unrepublican it is unamerican. They concealed it by using their rightwing screechers on radio and tv and the internets to proclaim that it was the other guys that were such. A good number of us were never fooled and thanks to those that made enough noise to make it clear to others. Here is what El Rushbo said the day after the election. He said he felt liberated..He said he would say things he didn't believe in because he didn't want the democrats to win. If that doesn't say that he is purely partisan I don't know what does. He talks about the need to reform and change the party but he didn't take it upon himself the be real and be a part of it. He would continue to shill something even he didn't believe in until you yourself figured out how wrong it was. What purpose does the bum serve. How could anyone listen to him after that and think they were hearing anything that was authentic or honest? How will even those that want to believe him know if he is just debating for the sake of debate or if he really thinks what he is arguing has merit? His career should have been over a long time ago.
I promise you you never have and never will get debate for the sake of debate from me. If there is something that seems suspect to me i will say so no matter who is pushing it. Until there is more openness and debate in the republican party instead of the universal rubberstamp for the most powerful in the party I cant see supporting them to run our country.

The Traditional Passing Of The Buck

I will leave it up to you and not identify the writer of this out of courtesy. I have no desire to smear him or her, just to point out the wacky right wing mind set.

Thanksgiving Horror: 161 Dead in Iraq

What is the response to this? I agree with people who say that we should have just went in Iraq and cleaned house. Of course, we could not do that because we had too many liberals and other world leaders saying that people would be mad at us if we were to mean in Iraq. We can't attack them on this religious holiday, we can't bomb any buildings that might have people in them...bla bla bla.I don't even want to hear from Jim or any other liberal that they never said that.That is what they do, they say something, then when it is proven what they thought was wrong and a failure, they simply say they never said it.Now they say we should have had more troops. I am getting tired of listening to these double talk people. I have said from day one we go in Iraq and kick some ass...who cares what anyone else thinks...get the job done and people will not be mad for very long.Now we have this mess still going on, and EVERYONE is the being nice thing at a time of war didn't work.So what the hell do we do now?

What? We didn't go in with "Shock and Awe"? What does he call "kicking ass"? Nuclear annihilation? Then say it. Be honest so we can be done with you. As a commenter on this post noted..we didn't quickly take Baghdad and declare mission accomplished? Gen. Shinseki , the secretary of state and other military leaders didn't say we needed far more troops? People including the Presidents father never predicted that just what is happening would happen? What f**king planet has this guy been living on for the past 5 years? Glenn Beck world or something?
To say that the President didn't do anything because of the liberals or liberal media is laughable. This administration has done exactly what they wanted. They haven't listened to anyone, including the supreme court, about anything. It has been their way or the highway all along. Everybody knows it so I have no idea who this blogger thinks he is fooling. The President has been the commander and chief and the head "decider" all along and this post just proves again that those who speak of personal responsibility have the ability to shoulder none. They will never say they were wrong but we all know better.

Update: More on the decider...decidin

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving-Coffee Table

Government is not the problem. Bad government is A problem. Many issues we face today scream for federal leadership: education, health care, corporate corruption, fair trade, election and campaign reform, security,… Only government has the ability to organize and lead on these problems. The free market cant lead on anything except the pursuit of individual profit. The benefits deriving from the FM to the country as a whole are collateral, coincidental, erratic, and often too slow in arriving. This is a nuanced assertion. Government shouldnt be the tyrranical absolute arbiter of all problems(even with the consent of the governed), businesses have rights and valuable insight. But without government leadership on broad scope issues, you dont really have a country, just a well armed free trade zone catering to the needs of the wealthy and powerful.

-Found among the wisdom on the internets

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Humor and Damned Hippies

Here is a piece about Fox News and their effort at a comedy news cast. Conservative humor. My gut is busting already. I suffered through all the examples on this admittedly liberal website. The only thing remotely funny was the Madeline Albright impersonator bending over and ripping her dress and the part where Gorin says something to the effect that it is amazing how many people think they are smarter than the President. That was suppose to be a set up but turned out to be the only thing in any of it that made me laugh out loud. The examples of the proof popped into my mind immediately. Now I will be the first to admit that I am far from the funniest guy on the planet...waaay down the list. I'm a rather serious and sincere person. Being in radio I have learned about it and how those that are good at it do it though. Irony and juxtaposition accounts for much of the good stuff. Self deprecating humor is also often a big winner. Somehow I don't think the latter will be much in use on the right. Can you see Hannity or O'liley or Coulter making a joke about themselves. That's about as likely as PETA deep frying their turkey this year. I am sure that the far right wing will find some humor in the coming Fox News comedy effort but I have a feeling that with the majority it is bound to fail. You see, another thing about comedy is that it must start with the premise of truth and that is going to be hard for them to do if what I have seen so far is any indication. As an occasional viewer and listener to right wing radio and blogs I can tell you that the following serious editorial is likely to be the stuff they will try to juxtapose or find irony in. Here is why it won't work. Here is the “serious” editorial.

America won't win another war until the 1960s flower children are pushing up petunias.
Radicalized, the flower children morphed into lefty loonies who now masquerade as social progressives. No matter what they rename themselves, however, their agenda hasn't changed.
Ok the agenda is a lot the same. Some truth there. How they make, love not war, equality for all, and caring for the least among us into a joke should be quite a trick.
For example, consider their continued belief that America's armed forces are neo-Nazi stormtroopers who delight in burning babies to further the aims of imperialistic corporations.
The problem with this is it isn't true and everyone but them knows it. The vast number of Americans, Liberals and old hippys included, don't think our armed forces are evil. They think the people ordering them around are. Most, including old hippys have been in or know someone in the military and know they don't delight in killing but rather do it as service or as obeying the orders they are given. Hard to make a joke about that. The idea of imperialistic corporations is not a wild idea in the least and is another thing that most people admit that the radical right finds as nonsense.
To renounce their military fictions would mean facing bigger, more important truths: Marxism doesn't work. Love is not all you need. Western culture is worth defending because it protects freedom, tolerance and the greatest material good for the greatest number. Government can't solve every problem. The American taxpayer has no obligation to support the rest of the world's exploding population.
The problem is she is the one creating the military fictions of the left. Nary a liberal I know is or wants to be a Marxist. Love is not always possible but it is a far more noble thing to strive for than hate. We on the left are the ones usually called TOO tolerant. We are the ones fighting to stop the giving away of our freedom in the name of fighting terrorism and it is we that push for the greatest good for the greatest number. We are fine with all of those elements of Western Culture so no juxtapose or irony there. Everyone already knows that there is no magic bullet that will solve every problem be it government or anything else so that would be an outrageous claim. It would be good to have government work for the good of the majority of the people instead of against them. Why is the right in favor of spending 500 billion for the good of Iraq but quibbling over spending money on and in America and on Americans? The irony is all her.

Thus, lefty loonies deny that terrorists have declared war on America, while insisting that we can win the war through negotiation. They seem to believe the terrorists will spare them because they are nice.
This is a very, very popular meme among the radical right that no one else finds as truth. Negotiation is one piece of the puzzle that shouldn't be ignored. That fact that they ignore it is why the left is forced to bring it up. The left fully understands America is in danger and has been attacked. That people would like to do us harm. That is a whole other post. To pretend that any notable swath of America is not aware of this is idiocy. It is not about being nice. Try doing harm to someone in a liberals family and see how fast the nice ends. It is about the high road, conscience, respect and respectability. That the radical right doesn't understand this is why the joke is on them here.
Whose life is more important: the 12-year-old Iraqi firing an Uzi or a soldier from Kentucky?
Which is more sacred: a mosque hiding a weapons cache or a plane of tourists?
Well, I guess it depends on who you ask and who is getting killed isn't it. I can't recall hearing much about any sizeable number of iraqi children killing Americans. She is making stuff up again.
A mosque or a plane.? That is a non sequitur in it's context here and I have no idea what she is talking about.
It's crucial that we come to terms with war questions because we will have war with Iran and North Korea. It will come down to their children or ours, their soldiers or ours, their countries or ours.
I guess she has decided that war is inevitable. Something I think most would be reticent to do. Personally I would see this as a blatant statement of warmongering but that is just me.
Their BAWL (Buddha-Allah-Wicca-Lenin) is better than some old Judeo-Christian God.
I think God would prefer to be called just God without the qualifiers. The vast majority of liberals are not among her BAWL cabal and the ones that are probably find it a personal choice and in terms of right or wrong and not better or worse.
In their heart of hearts, lefty loonies do want America to lose in Iraq and every military theater. They want outside enemies to accomplish quickly the demolition of American capitalism...
Another wildly popular radical right meme that only they believe. Virtually no Americans want Americans to lose and everybody knows it but the radical right. The vast majority don't want to demolish capitalism but are in favor of checks and balances of money and power.
After all, lefty loonies want their social justice and their pensions, too.
The nerve of them!

This is a prime example of right wing thought. How you take this sad piece of falsehood and bolderdash and turn it into something any more funny than in already is is a mystery to me.If it is funnier than their perception of reality it will be a success.

Brush Is Safe This Thanksgiving

It's time for another holiday and apparently the first family has chosen Camp David over Crawford this time. Too bad, I guess they have decided the time for image building is over. I so love those brush clearing sessions. Ever wonder WHY he was clearing brush? Of course the cynical think it is just a cheesey photo op but I've come up with a number of other possibilities. Hence the top 5 reasons George Bush is clearing brush.

5. Just hates brush
4. Fewer places for terrorists and other America haters to hide
3. His boflex is broken and he needs a little chainsaw exercise
2. Ruins his view of Cindy Sheehan
1. Give wildlife fewer places to live so Dick Cheney will quit asking to hunt there.

Actually the reason most clear brush is to make it the land usable for crops or grazing. Strangely I have never seen or heard of any crops on the land. I have seen nary an animal there either. Unless you count Barney who is imported occasionally. Gee I am getting the feeling that this would be more aptly named a homestead and not a "ranch".
I also greatly enjoy the "scene" behind virtually every reporter that goes to Crawford with the Pres. A rustic building or two, a vintage tractor and a bale or bales of hay that apparently get fed to non existant animals. Hell at least Reagan had a horse! Sadly it seems Americans are on to the charade and the mojo just ain't there anymore.
Seriously we all need a time with family and friends and in times like these I am sure Dubya needs it as much as anyone. I hope all have a warm, thankful and loving holiday.