Saturday, March 30, 2013

Random Thought: Information Revolution Now

I tend to see Facebook, the Internets, and social media in general as the latest information revolution. Rather than the last information revolution -- radio and television, which is not interactive -- the current one is more like the one before, when the printing press spread literacy beyond the halls of government and church. It's interactive and wakes up minds. Sometimes an awakened mind is a dangerous thing since they are rather unwieldy and powerful things. The result at first, like then, is a whole lot of garbage passing itself off as knowledge as well as a whole lot of revolutionary upheaval from people coming together with common grievances which they didn't know were so common. And of course, there's the decrepit and crumbling old order doing everything within its mighty capacity to try to throttle the thing before they get the Mussolini Meathook treatment.
Read More...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

We Tell Our Children There Are No Monsters

I haven't posted in a really long time, including just about the entirety of the presidential election. But really I had to say something now if only to begin to purge myself of some of the mental and emotional bile which has built up since then and especially after yesterday's massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.  Given the chance I'll likely expand on this topic a bit and get back into addressing other topics of my interest.

Yesterday morning I had news on as I went in late to work only briefly between playing my own music when I heard there had been an incident in Connecticut. After that I wasn't connected to any media until the early evening as I spent the entire afternoon with my colleagues from work at our annual holiday lunch (a substantially liquid affair). When the fog cleared and I went home so I could be there before my kids went to bed, I heard the details of what had happened and wondered whether the kids (2nd and 3rd grade) knew. It seems they didn't. I spent a good portion of the night looking over what my friends had posted and the assorted expected debates that erupted amidst the horror. I eventually came upon a piece written that day by  friend and truthout.org  editor William Rivers Pitt "An Armed Society Is a Polite Society..." in both its original and Buzzfeed versions. Crystallized my thoughts perfectly and I will continue to pivot from the concepts, so real against the abstraction which represents the perspective of those who would reject it. I managed to get a decent night's sleep next to my love with my children asleep together nearby. this morning I've kept up with some more of the noise, got involved in some of it, all while serving breakfast of homemade pancakes (chocolate chips in there for the kids) and bacon (makes daddy happy, no makes us ALL happy). When I finish making this blog post, I'm taking them out for a first bike ride on the new bikes I just bought them this week for Chanukah. It's 75 where I am now as we in south Florida are experiencing the nicest summer we've had in years. We tell our children there are no monsters, be we adults know there are. Watch for them if you can while you enjoy life and share it with love. Teach peace by living it.
Read More...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gravitar Tonight (May 27) On Progressive Blend

I just completed a pre-taped segment for tonight's More Me Show on Progressive Blend Radio to discuss the otherwise ignored story of the lawsuit against the indefinite detention law. The show starts at 5PM EST with my segment going on at 7PM EST. Listen live or later through the podcast on FB or at the station's site: http://pbradio.net/.
Read More...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Definite Intention: The Case Against Presidential Indiscretion


Next-door neighbour, dem hold your son,
said dem find him with one gun
And it's no need him start to mention,
Him going to get an indefinite detention.

Oh, lady, whatcha gonna do now? 
(...Oh...) Oh, lady, whatcha gonna do?
Oh, lady, whatcha gonna do? 
He's your one son, lady, whatcha gonna do?

In what has become an all-too-common behavior from the mainstream media, almost no coverage has aired regarding the monumental decision by New York Federal District Judge, Katherine B. Forrest earlier this week in the case of Hedges v Obama.  That case directly challenges what have come to be called the “indefinite detention” provisions of last year’s National Defense Authorization Act.  The Act is a usually pro forma matter with the purpose of providing the funding and structure for much of the US’s defense budget.  But this year, a series of sections were included which went far beyond the usual scope of the Act.

As a practical matter, the Act ratified nearly everything the GW Bush administration had been doing since they started the War on Terror.  Added in, though, were a couple of sections, 1021 and 1022, regarding the holding of prisoners during wartime. Collectively called the “indefinite detention” provisions, they authorize the president to declare prisoners as combatants which then allows the military to hold those prisoners as long as the war they were arrested under continues.  No charges need be brought, no trial need be given, no attorneys need be allowed to communicate or represent the prisoner, and if a trial is forthcoming, it can be held in secret as a military tribunal.

By itself, the concept of indefinite detention of enemy combatants during wartime is not unusual. It’s a generally accepted rule of war under the Geneva Conventions that people picked up on the field of battle can be held until the end of hostilities.  The complication in the War on Terror is that, in a strict sense, itisn’t a war. It’s a fight against what can best be described as a tactic, an action taken by people who want to cause harm and fear. There is no boundary to recognize, no settlement which can be reached, and therefore no obvious “end” to hostilities that will look like anything typically seen as such.

That means that anyone held in prison can be held for life without ever being charged or held to account with evidence presented to justify being held. While viscerally, it’s easy to say ok to all of that when thinking of the people involved in 9/11 and who would continue to plan other horrors of the like; but what happens if we’re talking about someone picked up by mistake?  Remember, we are not talking about uniformed soldiers on a battlefield -- we’re talking about someone walking down a city street who looks for all intents and purposes, just like anyone else walking down the street. The problem is that it could be just anyone walking down the street who gets picked up, because, as we all know, sometimes the government gets it wrong.

The new law adds a special twist to the scenario in that it includes a wider range of potential arrest targets by authorizing the detention of anyone “who was part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or who has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.” (sec. 1021(b)(2)) Here’s where things get fuzzy and where the current case came into play.

A variety of writers and activists found that their work could easily fall under the apparently wide umbrella of the section, subjecting them to the possibility that they, foreign and American citizens alike, could be picked up at any given moment and “disappeared” as if the US was suddenly a central American banana republic or South American military dictatorship of the 1970s.  A selection of them, from varied backgrounds and activities banded together to file a lawsuit against the government to test the constitutionality of the law. Here’s a quick rundown of some of them and how they have been affected already by this law even though none of them have been detained.

Chris Hedges: Pulitzer Prize-Winning former war correspondent for The New York Times, now a columnist for truthdig.com and independent lecturer and instructor. For decades he has engaged with many of the people the government would consider possible enemy targets, in order to inform the American people who they are fighting against. Hedges indicated he has altered his lectures and reconsidered many of his subjects for interview because of the possible presence of al-Qaeda operatives in his audience;

Daniel Ellsberg: Famous whistleblower for providing The New York Times with The Pentagon Papers in the 1970s, Ellsberg, at age 82 remains vibrant and active in oppositional public communications and has worked in support of Wikileaks and Bradley Manning, both of whom have been accused of aiding and abetting terrorist networks or being terrorists by members of congress.

Brigitta Jonsdottir: A member of parliament in Iceland, she has worked with Wikileaks and other groups to facilitate the free flow of information across the world. Because of her activity, her government has advised her not to travel to the United States.

Jennifer “Tangerine” Bolen: Has also worked with Wikileaks and been involved in pro-democracy, pro-information movements in the US and around the world in addition to working for support of Bradley Manning.  As with all the plaintiffs, she has rolled back on some of her activities and communications because of the detention law.

Initially, attorneys Carl Mayer and Bruce Afran, argued that the court should grant a preliminary injunction before getting to the direct question of constitutionality. A preliminary injunction means that the court could find that the operation of the law is so dangerous to the plaintiffs and likely to be declared unconstitutional, that it couldn’t be used by the government while the case remains open.  They argued is so broad and vague that all of the plaintiffs have already been injured by the existence of this law because they have had to curtail their activities, associations, and speech, public and private because they believe the law could be used to against them, and that if it were to happen, they would be prevented from any recourse against indefinite detention. 

In response, the government claimed first: that the plaintiffs had not suffered any injury that allowed them to come to court at all -- the doctrine of “standing” to sue: second: that if they did have standing, then an injunction was unnecessary since the government assured they had no intention of using the law against these plaintiffs, and; third: that this law was merely a reaffirmation of a prior law -- the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), which is the basis for the war in Afghanistan – which has already been found constitutional.  The government did not present any further statements, testimony, or evidence.

Following the presentation of the statements and arguments by each side, this past Wednesday, the judge granted the injunction and effectively declared the law at least temporarily unconstitutional.  The government has 60 days to decide what to do next.  They can appeal the injunction or they can proceed with a trial at the level the case is at now. The judge’s opinion was especially strong and granting an injunction is exceedingly rare at the District Court level. Additionally, the judge herself is a recent Obama appointee which suggests that the higher courts will not be swayed by political leanings as they have been accused so often in recent years. Further, failure in court by the government from here on out will also have the effect of raising the decision to the level where it can be referred to in the future as a precedent for challenges to other laws which may reduce oppositional speech and association.

What many outside the case considered something of a publicity stunt at first now know that this is a very serious matter and a big deal for activists and wannabe whistleblowers not just in the US but throughout this grandly interconnected world. This morning I participated in a press forum phone conference with the attorneys and several of the plaintiffs on behalf of Progressive Blend Radio and found that all were ecstatically surprised not only at the outcome in what they had presumed was just the early first phase of the case, but by the defense, or lack of defense, put up by the government.

In reading the judge’s opinion, one can almost read a sense of mockery at the feebleness of the government’s assertion that the new law is merely a restatement of what was already on the books, that it would “require [the] Court to find that [the law] is a mere redundancy – that is, that it has no independent meaning and adds absolutely nothing to the Government’s enforcement powers… that it is meaningless.”  Later references to the signing statement issued by President Obama upon signing the entire bill into law, implied that the administration had no real intention to use the authority this law bestowed upon it, an implication that would be laughable if it wasn’t part of a long history of governments throughout the world who claimed they would act only with kindness towards its people regardless of circumstance.

Long time populist and anti-corporatist attorney, Carl Mayer, indicated that he was surprised at the decision by the Department of Justice attorneys to present almost nothing in opposition to the plaintiffs’ assertion, relying on what amounted to a “trust us” position towards application and enforcement of the law. He considered that maybe they had the law written poorly and defended weakly on purpose but couldn’t say why they would do such a thing.  He did offer that perhaps the bill was written poorly just to get it through and to fix it later, which may be true as attempts are underway to accomplish just that although they haven't accomplished anything yet.

Alternatively, Ellsberg was nearly aghast at the implications this law could have on free speech and association.  He explained that he has remained active in the whistleblower community and even has other people who would be prepared to step forward on a variety of subjects but they are holding back because of the implications of being prosecuted under this law. Ellsberg himself said that if not for his age, he would be hesitant to even engage in the discussion we were having.  He also ruminated that all of the actions taken against him by the Nixon administration, threats of prosecution, unwarranted wiretapping, all manner of reprisals up to and including sending thugs to beat him up -- which were part and parcel of what would have been grounds for impeachment and removal had Nixon not resigned -- have all been pretty well ratified and made mundane since the GW Bush years and that this law was the final icing on the cake. As it happens, because of the current resounding victory, should it hold up -- and there is little reason at this point to think that it won’t -- Ellsberg is confident that this case will be useful as a precedent to challenge other onerous laws which are on the books, significantly, the Espionage Act of 1917, the one that he was prosecuted under in 1973.

After reading the opinion, related articles, and supporting documents from the case, and talking with many of the principles involved, I have to say I’m fairly shocked at the course of events.

While the public debate over the Defense Bill was taking place in December I was astounded when I read the offending passages for all the reasons that have been cited.  The clauses in question seemed blatantly violative of the Constitution for all sorts of reasons. They were also horribly written.  Within its content are a variety of weasel words well-known to any 1st year law student as intended to give executives the ability to define their own discretion rather than define precisely what they can and cannot do. It was one of these weasel words that told me the accusation regarding detention of American citizens was legitimate. Section 1022(b): “Applicability to United States Citizens…(1) The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States [emphasis mine].” A too quick read would lead one to believe that this clause means that military (indefinite) detention doesn’t apply to US citizens at all but that would be wrong. To achieve that result, it would have to say exempt or shall not in there somewhere. Instead it says “requirement”. In other words, there is a mandate, a requirement, that foreign citizens and illegal residents of the US who are accused of terrorism or supporting terror be held in military detention. But if a US citizen or legal resident is picked up under such circumstances, military detention is optional, and fully within the discretion of the President.  The President of the United States, under this law has been given the authority to use his discretion to have citizens disappeared. No charge, no recourse, no representation, no time limit.

If that isn’t unconstitutional, then Barack Obama is the secret love child of Josef Stalin and Chairman Mao.
Read More...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Marriage Is So Gay

For the life of me I can't understand why anyone cares if the government recognizes the union of consenting adults and calls it marriage.  Why anyone feels they need the stamp of approval of the state in order to ratify the love they have in their hearts for another grants the state more authority over matters of devotion and commitment than any government ought to have over its people. If anyone of a particular religious sect doesn't want to recognize some of these marriages between people, then that is surely their right. No one is suggesting that gay marriage be mandated by any religion.  Demanding that their dogma be imposed on anyone not willingly a part of their sect though? Absolutely not. And claiming that the state ought to abide by religious strictures because of a false notion that the state exists because of that sect's dogma? False on its face.


The United States is NOT a Christian nation.  
It is a nation with a lot of Christians in it.

If the state is to allow an adult to declare their commitment to another adult and grant certain rights in property and entitlement benefits with that declaration, then any restriction of that right which refuses to recognize any declaration by any set of consenting adults is discrimination on its face just as surely as interracial marriage bans used to be discriminatory.

If you happen to be offended by that concept, so what? You have no right against being offended.  The rest of the population need not lower itself to your standards because you're such a sensitive soul so easily made queasy by two men kissing?  Grow a pair, huh?
Read More...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Caveat Emptor in Extremis

This is, of course, a generalization, but until about 1980 or so, big business culture in the United States operated under the presumption that the purpose of the business was to make money by providing a quality product or service.  If that product or service was efficiently provided at a reasonable price together with an appropriate level of quality, sales would grow and profits generated.  Since about 1980 the culture changed so that the purpose of business became simply to generate profit as quickly and grandly as possible, by any means available. Manufacturing the product, or providing the service was just a step along the way, the only factor being to do it cheaply - a fetish of efficiency.  The result was a large sector of the economy dedicated to what basically became a smash and grab business model more suited to invading hordes of locusts picking the entire landscape clean before the exterminator could do a thing about it.  The approach was facilitated by a governing structure featuring inadequate regulations which were inadequately enforced.

The finance industry is the worst offender, having successfully worked to remove nearly every semblance of distinction between low-risk reliable investing, traditionally the place for middle class savers, pension funds and the like; and high-risk investing, formerly the province of the already wealthy and the venture capitalists or the world.  Hard to believe that it seems a good idea to will these characters back into being, but that's pretty much what we've come to:

Read More...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mitt's Experience, or Lack of It

Let me be clear that when the Democratic primary season began in 2007, I was a supporter of Bill Richardson, a guy who had served with distinction at every level of American government. The guy is a genuine public servant.  I never cared for Hillary as I saw her as an extreme corporatist like her husband, of whom I also was never much of a fan for the the same reason.  That said, the GOP provided no alternatives that I could live with as the party had destroyed McCain Version 2000.  The most serious legitimate critique of Barack Obama when he was a candidate in 2008 was that he lacked substantial experience in elective office, and what experience he did have was not especially noteworthy.  It was hard to argue against those facts so I wasn't enthusiastic.  But it eventually became clear that he would be the nominee so, reluctantly at first, I supported him, and then enthusiastically, after reading The Audacity of Hope.  In that book, he showed me he had the historical background to understand where we've come from as a nation, how we got to where we are in many areas of public policy, where we had to go, and how to get there.  In the absence of genuine experience, it's sometimes possible to acquire a form of experience from the right sort of learning and this was the best available. Regardless, no candidate is prepared for the Presidency so it's a matter of considering weaknesses that can be overcome, allowing strengths to come forward.

That said, Mitt Romney is the most inexperienced politician to run as a major party presidential nominee since Adlai  Stevenson lost to Ike in 1952 (well I guess except for Ike himself who'd held no elective office at all. Of course, he wasn't exactly a run of the mill politician, having managed and won World War II and all.). Mitt was a one-term Republican governor in the most Democratic state in the nation where that office is very weak. The legislature really runs the show there. Besides that he worked at Bain as a corporate raider and redeveloper at the higher levels of the American business world. That's it. He was raised as a stereotypical son of a rich guy. George Romney came from not much to make something of himself and eventually ran AMC (creator of The Pacer automobile as well as my first car, the AMC Matador Station Wagon, 1973 for me) then became the Republican governor of Michigan (where the trees are the right height) with a stellar reputation as a genuinely compassionate moderate in an era when such politicians were in abundance. George might have had a good shot at the GOP presidential nomination in 1968 had he not been honest about why he changed his initial stance in favor of the US involvement in the Vietnam War ("I was brainwashed by the generals"). Honesty doesn't get you far in American politics.

Mitt has little of his father's experience and has shown no awareness of any other experience outside of that of exactly what he is: a rich guy who grew up as a rich kid. The business experience he claims is his main (sole?) qualification for office is very limited. High end and successful for sure, but limited. He might understand an oil company, but he doesn't know a thing about running a gas station.

So when applying the same standard from Obama '08 to Romney '12 (again, not normal in US politics), the critique is precisely the same, perhaps worse for Romney.  He ain't got the chops.
Read More...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Econ 201: I Think I'm Starting To Get It

My economic education has proceeded apace these years since the housing market collapsed where I live in Florida in 2005 (well before everywhere else) and then the full economic collapse in 2008. I understood what the banks were doing regarding the mortgage bubble while it was happening, since that's the business I'm in, but it's taken me some time to wrap my head around some of the policy moves made since the collapse. But I had an epiphany the other day which, if I'm correct, may go a long way to explaining why the bailout and the ongoing Quantitative Easing (QE) measures (a fancy way of saying the Fed has printed a LOT of money) have been rigged the way that they were rigged.

The Fed has the task of maintaining control over the US banking system, keeping it solvent and stable, while balancing inflation and employment rates. This I learned long ago but understanding how it works in a time of extreme, almost catastrophic crisis, was new on me, as I guess it's been for pretty much everyone, including the folks in charge of the system, the Bernanke, the Timmy, et al.

Basically what has been done since the crisis began is pretty simple: throw lots and lots of cash at the problems. The problems have been caused almost exclusively by insanely abusive banking practices that utterly confounded the purposes for a banking system. But that's another discussion which has been oft-discussed. Let me just get to my epiphany.

So lots of money has been given to the banks, essentially free of charge -- no short-term interest rates for practical purposes. That means ANYthing the banks did with that money would be profitable as long as it didn't become a loss (like all of those criminally fraudulent mortgages they gave to borrowers). Of course, the banks were and are carrying enormous losses for the foreseeable future because of the mortgage mess. If the totality of the losses were tallied, it's pretty well certain that most if not all of the biggest banks in the country would collapse immediately. But with a massive infusion of cash, a lot of that damage can be masked. As long as that cash stays on hand, it remains an asset rather than as a liability. In other words, if the money isn't loaned out, then it stays in the positive column of the bank balance sheet. Additionally, if all that money were loaned out, another bubble could be triggered as people start buying stuff with it. THAT could (and because of the gigantic sums of fresh cash printed up) probably would also trigger some pretty massive inflation, devaluing the dollar overnight.

Of course, we've heard a lot of noise about hyperinflation because of all the money printing, and we've also heard a lot of noise about how the banks are sitting on the money instead of loaning it out to the public. And often, it's been portrayed as an oops that strings weren't attached to the bailouts and QE requiring that the money be loaned out to the public. But my epiphany is that it wasn't a mistake at all. It was intentional from the start.

Free money to bad banks prevents their collapse and keep them profitable, thereby meeting the first major requirement that the Fed has. Allowing them to hold onto the money contributes to their stability and prevents inflation even though so much more cash is theoretically out there. But it's all fake because it isn't out there at all -- it's completely locked up, hoarded, on banking balance sheets as unreachable as the gold in Fort Knox. So inflation is kept at bay, fulfilling another of the Fed's obligations. Finally, nominal stability in finance has allowed the economy in general to more or less stabilize as well and perhaps slowly start to creep into something that can be described as a recovery even though unemployment, the final obligation of the Fed, remains well over 8%. The argument here is that the monetary policies of the government and the Fed prevented unemployment from being much much worse. While that may be true, had it not been for the irresponsible Fed policies through the 90s and especially the early aughts, together with the longterm and successful efforts of every congress and administration since late Carter to chip away at the regulatory foundation of post-Depression Era finance, the madness that caused the crisis would never have happened.

There's no oops here. The stability of the banks is false but will stay as is unless another outside crisis knocks them over. A European crisis, major war, major oil shock, or some other like big event could do the trick. We are still living in a house of cards and there's no telling if or when an ill wind will rise on the horizon.
Read More...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

W(h)ither the GOP?


For those who tuned in to Progressive Blend Radio expecting to hear me lead the interview of William Rivers Pitt of Truthout.org, things didn't go quite as planned. I had a major problem getting a decent connection to the station either via Skype or regular phone line so the guys in the studio had to come to the rescue, and rescue they did. So go ahead and get the podcast if you didn't tune in live. Pitt gave us some fascinating insights into his world of political journalism as well as a peak inside the inner world of a presidential campaign from his time as press secretary for Dennis Kucinich in 2008. We look forward to having him on again soon, maybe even with me being able to participate.

That said, the other main topic of the interview was the apparent desire of the Republican Party to disconnect itself from the vast majority of women voters in this country. It turns out the uproar a few weeks back over the Komen Foundation's announcement that it was dropping its funding to Planned Parenthood was just a peashooter hit to the bomb that was about to drop. Without getting to the details which are readily available, the GOP, through its currently surging presidential nomination candidate, Rick Santorum, seemed intent on raising the issue of women's contraception to one of major import. Deriving from health insurance issues involving the Catholic Church, to which Santorum is a strict adherent, the GOP objected to any government support of any form of birth control (while at the same time, the GOP in Virginia was pushing a state bill which would require women considering abortions to have an invasive internal ultrasound exam prior to the procedure-an exam which, if not approved by the woman but performed anyway, meets with precision the definition of rape-in this case state ordered rape).

Darrel Issa (R-California), initiated a set of hearings which led to the viral posting of the already well-known picture above, and then refused the request of any women to testify at the hearing. That it was all men discussing women's health was obvious and ridiculous enough. But what I finally realized while listening to the discussion on Progressive Blend was that they weren't just a bunch of men, they were a bunch of men representing assorted aspects of the nation's formal religious sects. They were leaders of institutions of society; institutions whose job it is to tell their followers how to live their lives.

It became clear to me that the greatest difference between the Republicans and Democrats is that the Republicans, for all their bluster about rugged individualism and the desire to preserve their liberty against government infringement, have no problem at all submitting themselves to other institutions quite easily. Institutions which, in most cases individuals have no philosophical control or influence over once they submit to it. They have made it clear that religious institutions, giant corporate enterprises, and the military, should be able to function without any interference from government (ignore for the moment that the military is part of the government as the folks I'm describing consider the military as separate from any notion in their heads from civilian government).

On the other hand, these grand supporters of liberty reject at every turn any expression of genuine individuality or independent thinking wherever it should happen to pop up, especially if it happens in a person's private life.

So here we have another of the many ironic hypocrisies of today's Grand Old Party. They do not actually appreciate the individual behavior of anyone that actually demonstrates any individuality, and they don't have any interest or respect for any institution that they actually have any control over, unless they happen to control it. In that case they demand that everyone respect it the same way that they do or be tarred as a sinner, one not a member of the other main institution they respect but have no control over: the Church; or as the functional equivalent of a foreign target of the other institutions that they respect but do not control: international corporations or the military.

The conclusion to be drawn here is rather shocking I think. The operating mindset of the functional wing of today's Republican Party is not just in opposition to the Democratic Party. It is, in a very real sense, completely against every principle they claim to champion. They seek to take this country to a place nowhere near any conception it was ever thought to represent, but instead, straight back to precisely what it was that it rebelled against in the first place: a unitary nation, run dynastically by privileged families who hold most of the wealth and most of the power. Today's Republican Party truly is a COUNTER-revolutionary movement by genuine conservatives as the term was understood BEFORE the American revolution. They wish to overturn a LIBERAL revolution in the sense that it liberated the people from the restrictions of institutions over which they had no authority.

As an aside, it is also testament to either the incompetence or the complicity of the Democratic Party that they can't or don't get the message across strongly enough regarding the true nature of the conservative movement. With little effort, the Democrats should be able to put the Republicans so far out of the race for any place in the government that they would be reduced to little more than an entertaining afterthought to the daily management of the country. But instead of the Republicans being just another little reality series with lousy ratings, they are allowed to step ever closer to gaining the trust and viewership to run this country right out of existence and back to the metaphorical teat of an old European Empire. Yet they accuse the Democrats of trying to imitate Europe. Irony becomes farce becomes tragedy.
Read More...

Gravitar Interviews William Rivers Pitt Live On PBR Tonight

William Rivers Pitt is the editor and columnist for the frontline Progressive news site truthout.org. He just celebrated ten years writing there and tonight I'll be interviewing him on air on Progressive Blend Radio live, together with DJ Downtown and Eddie Herradura. The More Me Show starts at 5PM EST and the interview is at 8 or 8:30. Listen to us live or look for the podcasts which will be posted within a day or two after. You can follow Progressive Blend Radio at the station website or through their site at Facebook. Both places host a Ustream feed and chatrooms when the show is on air. Listen in, join in, tell your friends, enjoy!!
Read More...