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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

In the news...

More at The Real News

The Occupy movement is heading to Congress.
This could be fun...
After arriving at the Capitol, marchers say they intend to fan out for meetings with representatives and "occupy" Congressional offices until closure.
For more, visit Progressive Maryland.

Republicans who dislike both Romney and Gingrich.
Apparently, some movers-n-shakers behind the scenes in GOP-land want an alternative to both of the front-runners. Taylor Marsh -- boy, when was the last time I cited her? -- asks:
The question remains, with the momentum Newt Gingrich has today, how do Republicans stop him?

Only a flood of negative ads against Newt in Iowa, but especially South Carolina, will get it done. But someone better pull that trigger fast.
Personally, I think support for Gingrich is one of those mile-wide-inch-deep things. Everyone understands his negatives and few really like the guy. Besides, the hardcore libertarian ideologues mistrust him. That's why I've always presumed that his surge won't last.

That said, there is definitely a space in place for a new face this race. (And if you ever see me write a sentence like that again, shoot me.) Steve Forbes? I've been mulling over that possibility for some time. Forbes endorsed Rick Perry, and thus cannot enter the contest until the Texas Titan formally calls it a day.

More "job creator" bullshit. Here's another opportunistic, deceptive and manipulative libertarian propaganda piece on CNN designed to convince us that the jobs crisis results from over-regulation. Are people really so dimwitted as to believe that regulations are vastly more onerous today than they were in (say) 1998? Are we really supposed to believe that there are fewer regulations here than in Germany, which is taking over Europe?

Regulation isn't killing jobs. What's killing jobs is the lack of demand. People don't have money to spend.

The above-cited piece was written by the CEO of the parent company that owns Red Lobster. These days, who can afford lobster?

Speaking of Germany... Here's Ian Welsh on the new German dominance of Europe...
It is true that the Euro requires fiscal union. It always did, shared currencies don’t work without union. However, if fiscal union is to occur, then it should occur with each member state’s population voting for it, especially as this fiscal union’s purpose is to impose corporate friendly austerity measure’s on the populations of countries that would almost certainly vote against them.

I will note that this is not going to redound to Germany’s favor in the not-very long run. Permanent European depression is not to Germany’s advantage. Who, exactly, they think is going to buy their high-end goods is beyond me. They shouldn’t expect India and China to play along, those countries are creating their own auto industries and do not intend to be dumping grounds for Western goods.
Bringing the drones back home: Glenn Greenwald reports that the drone weaponry which has made us so beloved in Muslim countries is now going to be used on the domestic scene:
Employing them for domestic police actions is following the model quickly being implemented in surveillance-happy Britain, where drones are used for “the ­’routine’ monitoring of antisocial motorists, ­protesters, agricultural thieves and fly-tippers, in a significant expansion of covert state surveillance.”

Even leaving aside the issue of weaponization (police officials now openly talk about equipping drones with “nonlethal weapons such as Tasers or a bean-bag gun”), the use of drones for domestic surveillance raises all sorts of extremely serious privacy concerns and other issues of potential abuse. Their ability to hover in the air undetected for long periods of time along with their comparatively cheap cost enables a type of broad, sustained societal surveillance that is now impractical, while equipping them with infra-red or heat-seeking detectors and high-powered cameras can provide extremely invasive imagery. The holes eaten into the Fourth Amendment’s search and seizure protections by the Drug War and the War on Terror means there are few Constitutional limits on how this technology can be used, and there are no real statutory or regulatory restrictions limiting their use.
They're going to justify all of this surveillance as part of the ongoing war against crime, which is nonsense. Non-lethal weaponry has always been political.
There is no question that domestic political unrest is a major concern of law enforcement officials at every level. A new report released today by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development documents that “the gap between rich and poor in OECD countries has reached its highest level for over over 30 years,” and, as an OECD official said, “the social contract is starting to unravel in many countries. . . Without a comprehensive strategy for inclusive growth, inequality will continue to rise.” As The Wasington Post said today: the report “comes as rising dissatisfaction with economic inequality has spilled over into street protests in dozens of cities around the world.” Moreover, “the United States, Turkey and Israel have among the largest ratios between the incomes of those at the top and the bottom, roughly 14 to 1. ”

Drone technology is but the latest War on Terror weapon to be imported onto U.S. soil, and the dangers should be manifest. One article prominently touted on AeroVironment’s website hails the “Switchblade,” which the author excitingly describes as “an ingenious, miniature unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is also a weapon” and “the leading edge of what is likely to be the broader, even wholesale, weaponization of unmanned systems. ”

Well, at least most of the commenter's share your views, which is a good sign. The drone issue is a scary one, but that's what you get when you let fear guide you and you buy into war propaganda. When I was in High School, we actually were taught about how propaganda was always used by both sides in wars to dehumanize the enemy (yes, we even saw examples from the USA in WWI and WWII). Nowadays, I guess people have stopped learning to think and evaluate such things for what they are.......propaganda to keep the war machine rolling.
Butbutbutbut...war creates jobs! Bring the war home and we'll have those jobs back home!
There has been a very good libertarian series of posts on naked capitalism by Andrew Dittmer. When I say Libertarian I should say exposition of Libertarian doctrine. It has been eye opening to me. I had no idea of precisely what these people believed. Now I see why they are in fact Nazis and must be stopped.

The Occupiers should be making special overtures to the war vets, many of whom know they were had.
If Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are silent about the erosion of our civil liberties then they are for it. What prominent Democrat has spoken out against domestic surveillance in any form?

Where is Chris Matthews' usual bluster, or Olbermann's for that matter?

Since Obama, Pelosi, and Reid seem to be for the use of drones to spy on citizens the usual gang of "journalists" are too.
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