September 29, 2011 archive

Sep 29

The Failure of Neo-Liberal Politics

As Scorn for Vote Grows, Protests Surge Around Globe

By NICHOLAS KULISH, The New York Times

Published: September 27, 2011

Increasingly, citizens of all ages, but particularly the young, are rejecting conventional structures like parties and trade unions in favor of a less hierarchical, more participatory system modeled in many ways on the culture of the Web.

In that sense, the protest movements in democracies are not altogether unlike those that have rocked authoritarian governments this year, toppling longtime leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Protesters have created their own political space online that is chilly, sometimes openly hostile, toward traditional institutions of the elite.

In the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, a consensus emerged that (neo) liberal economics combined with democratic institutions represented the only path forward. That consensus, championed by scholars like Francis Fukuyama in his book “The End of History and the Last Man,” has been shaken if not broken by a seemingly endless succession of crises – the Asian financial collapse of 1997, the Internet bubble that burst in 2000, the subprime crisis of 2007-8 and the continuing European and American debt crisis – and the seeming inability of policy makers to deal with them or cushion their people from the shocks.

Mr. Hazare’s anticorruption campaign tapped a deep chord with the public precisely because he was not a politician. Many voters feel that Indian democracy, and in particular the major parties, the Congress Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, have become unresponsive and captive to interest groups. For almost a year, India’s news media and government auditors have exposed tawdry government scandals involving billions of dollars in graft.

The political left, which might seem the natural destination for the nascent movements now emerging around the globe, is compromised in the eyes of activists by the neoliberal centrism of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. The old left remains wedded to trade unions even as they represent a smaller and smaller share of the work force. More recently, center-left participation in bailouts for financial institutions alienated former supporters who say the money should have gone to people instead of banks.

The entrenched political players of the post-cold-war old guard are struggling. In Japan, six prime ministers have stepped down in five years, as political paralysis deepens. The two major parties in Germany, the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats, have seen tremendous declines in membership as the Greens have made major gains, while Chancellor Angela Merkel has watched her authority erode over unpopular bailouts.

In many European countries the disappointment is twofold: in heavily indebted federal governments pulling back from social spending and in a European Union viewed as distant and undemocratic. Europeans leaders have dictated harsh austerity measures in the name of stability for the euro, the region’s common currency, rubber-stamped by captive and corrupt national politicians, protesters say.

“The biggest crisis is a crisis of legitimacy,” Ms. Solanas said. “We don’t think they are doing anything for us.”

Why Liberals Are Lame: McCarthyite Identity Politics as Cover for Bankrupt Policies

Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism


The latest desperate strategy of Obama’s spin-meisters highlights the rot at the core of the Democratic party: the heavy handed use of identity politics as a cover for neoliberal policies that betray the very groups the party purports to represent.

(A)s Obama’s economic policies have failed to pull the economy out of its crisis-induced deep malaise, he has done nothing different save get more pissy and double down on his failed strategy of selling out the middle class. His recent, and no doubt desperation-induced effort to rekindle the support of his badly abused base via gestures like a millioniares’ tax, are likely to go the way of past promises of change: they will be watered down to thin gruel so as not to ruffle his moneyed backers. It is remarakbly disingenuous for Harris-Perry to contend that dissatisfaction with Obama results from racism, as opposed to (among other things) ineffective policy responses to substantial and widespread economic stress.

The left is obsessed with what ought to be peripheral concerns, namely, political correctness and Puritanical moralizing, because it is actually deeply divided on the things that matter, namely money and the role of the state. The Democrats have been so deeply penetrated by the neoliberal/Robert Rubin/Hamilton Project types that they aren’t that different from the right on economic issues. Both want little regulation of banking and open trade and international capital flows. Both want to “reform” Medicare and Social Security. Both are leery of a welfare state, the Republicans openly so, the Rubinite Dems with all sorts of handwringing and clever schemes to incentivize private companies that generally subsidize what they would have done regardless (note that Americans have had a mixed record in providing good social safety nets, but a big reason is our American exceptionalism means we refuse to copy successful models from abroad).

The powerful influence of moneyed interests on the Democratic party has achieved the fondest aims of the right wing extremists of the 1970s: the party of FDR is now lukewarm at best in its support of the New Deal. Most Democrats are embarrassed to be in the same room with union types. They are often afraid to say that government can play a positive role. They were loath to discuss the costs of income inequality until it became so far advanced that it is now well nigh impossible to reverse it. After all, that sort of discussion might sound like class warfare, and God forbid anyone on the mainstream left risk sound like Marx.

So the Democratic party (and remember, our two party system makes the Democrats the home by default for the left) pretends to be a safe haven for all sorts of out groups: women, gays, Hispanics (on their way to being the dominant group but not there yet), blacks, the poor. But this is stands in stark contradiction to its policies of selling out the middle class to banks and big corporate interests, just on a slower and stealthier basis than the right. So its desperate need to maintain its increasingly phony “be nice to the rainbow coalition” branding places a huge premium on appearances. It thus uses identity politics as a cover for policy betrayals. It can motivate various groups on narrow, specific issues, opening the way for the moneyed faction to get what it wants.

It took most people far too long to get that Obama was a phony because the presumption that a black man would be sympathetic to the fate of the downtrodden is a deeply embedded but never voiced prejudice (and this bias is exploited successfully by the right in depicting Obama as a socialist). Other elements of traditional Democratic associations played into the Obama positioning: his Administration is chock full of technocratic Harvard wonks, and the last time an Administration was so dominated by technocrats was under Kennedy, the last Democratic Administration to have a strongly positive (indeed romanticized) image. (Yes, the Clintons also liked fancy resume types, but they also placed a very high premium on loyalty, and with the result that long-standing supporters often wound up in surprisingly senior roles).

These traditional iconic symbols of liberalism – secular urban elitism, blackness, technocratic skill, micro-issue identity based political organizing groups – have been fully subverted in the service of banking interests. Obama is the ultimate, but not the only, piece of evidence that these symbols are now used simply to con the Democratic base out of their support and money.

Sep 29

Countdown To Zero

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Valerie Plame, the outed CIA covert operations officer who was tracking Iran’s nuclear program, appeared with Keith Olbermann to discuss her involvement with Global Zero and reducing the number of nuclear weapons.

Global Zero, with Valerie Plame Wilson

Reaching Global Zero

by Valerie Plame Wilson, Posted: March 8, 2011

{}As a former CIA covert operations officer who specialized in nuclear counter-proliferation, I believe that this is the most urgent threat we face. As dire as the predictions are on this issue, the good news is that we are actually making progress! The recent ratification of the new START treaty demonstrates that there is real international political will to take us off the path of certain destruction by nuclear weapons if nothing is done. But, there is much work still ahead.

Let’s start with the known threat: Without doubt, terrorist groups are trying to buy, build or steal a bomb. Furthermore, there is enough highly-enriched uranium (HEU) in the world to build more than 100,000 weapons, and rogue individuals are selling technology on the black market. If terrorists get hold of HEU, they could not be prevented from smuggling it into a targeted city, building a bomb and exploding it.

To my mind, the only realistic solution to this danger is to lock down all nuclear materials and eliminate all nuclear weapons in all countries: Global Zero. I am now dedicated to achieving this goal as a leader of the Global Zero movement. This movement was launched in December 2008 in Paris by an international group of 100 current and former heads-of-state, national security officials, military commanders and business, civic and faith leaders — and in just two years has grown to 300 leaders and 400,000 citizens worldwide.

Sign the petition to Cut Nukes

World leaders will spend $1 trillion on nukes in the next 10 years

while cutting essential services that we all need! Will you take

1 minute to tell them what matters most to you?

Sep 29

The Failure of Neo-Liberal Economics

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette


That’s what they call the people at the bottom end of a failed Ponzi Scheme and this, unlike Social Security is in fact a Ponzi Scheme.  You see, Social Security pays out 85% of it’s benefits (15% haircut) after 35 years if nothing is done like, oh… say raising the income cap.

Greek Bonds start at a 50% haircut and spiral rapidly to kitty litter.

Road Map to Prepackaged, Orderly Default That Keeps Greece in Euro: View

By the Editors, Bloomberg News

Sep 27, 2011 8:00 PM ET

European leaders swear a Greek default isn’t in the cards. Their parliaments debate whether to bolster an inadequate rescue facility. The International Monetary Fund sends delegates to Athens to make sure it deserves its next tiny tranche of bailout aid. German Chancellor Angela Merkel regularly declares fealty to the euro.

They’re all in denial. Almost no one believes Greece is solvent, not with an economy — and tax receipts — shrinking and debt ballooning to 180 percent of gross domestic product, a burden that no amount of belt-tightening will make bearable. The question now is whether Europe can arrange a controlled and orderly default, or will allow a Greek bankruptcy that is chaotic and destructive to the global economy.

Expelling Greece from the euro would cause more economic, political and social chaos than the world can bear. The possibilities range from runs on European banks to violent rioting in the streets of Athens — or even civil war. True, leaving the euro would allow Greece to do something it can’t do now — devalue its currency — to be more competitive. But it would also paralyze a drachma-tized economy. One big reason is that companies with euro debts would be hard-pressed to pay them back with a deeply devalued drachma, and would face bankruptcy.

Exiting would also be more expensive than staying. Willem Buiter, the chief economist at Citigroup, says a euro exit would mean a 100 percent write-off of Greek bonds, while staying would mean writing down their value by 60 percent to 80 percent. Greek bonds now trade at discounts of 40 percent to 65 percent of face value.

Without a growth plan, the EU faces financial Waterloo

The latest eurozone rescue scheme may save Greece for now, but it fails on a basic rule of classical economics

Simon Jenkins, The Guardian

27 September 2011

A bad-tempered weekend at the IMF in Washington has reportedly led to a ghost of a plan that makes sense. It involves halving Greece’s debts to German and French banks, repeating the 21% “haircut” default of last July. This in turn will hurt the banks more than they might stand, so the second part of the plan props them with urgent subsidies. In a third part, some 2 trillion euros would be tipped into the European central bank, somehow to “firewall” the sovereign debts of Portugal and Ireland and perhaps even Italy and Spain.

This plan is first aid at the scene of the accident. But when all bad options have failed, desperate men turn to worse ones. The summer’s stress tests, bail-outs, Greek promises and quantitative easings are dead in the water. Europe’s weaker governments have gone on spending and borrowing, and banks lending. Greece’s chief paymaster, Germany, is fed up and Greece is on the brink of bankruptcy. Its workers will soon not get paid and its government might fall – an echo of Weimar.

The plan currently in circulation makes short-term sense. But it is a rescue plan, not a growth plan. The frightening realisation is that, at a time of recession, the economic conversation is back to the 1930s, as if Keynes had never preached the woes of austerity. In the past three years, 20 million people have lost their jobs worldwide. This staggering waste of human resources is entirely due to human error, to the political mismanagement of economies, which makes Ed Balls’ boasting in his conference speech on Monday the more inexcusable.

The western economy is in the grip of a textbook liquidity squeeze. There is cash everywhere. British companies alone have some £700bn on deposit, which they are unable or unwilling to invest for lack of demand. The Bank of England has printed some £200bn of quantitative easing, mendaciously claiming it will “kick-start the economy”. It has merely added to the pile, and is proposing to add more. It cannot explain where the money has gone, or show one constructive idea as to how to boost demand to mop up this lake of liquidity. The bank is back in the dark ages, starving today to inflate tomorrow.

Where have the government’s Tory monetarists gone? Where are their graphs of M1, M2 and M3 and their equations of the velocity of cash in circulation? The liquidity squeeze is nothing to do with George Osborne’s public sector cuts, which are mild, but with the laws of classical economics. In a recession, you do not save, you spend. Why is Osborne building a cash mountain? If nothing is done to ease the constipation in the British economy, when the rest of Europe recovers it will grow and Britain will merely stumble into stagflation.

In the face of this what is Peter Orzag’s recommmendation (you remember, he was Barack Obama’s Citigroup Budget Director)?

Peter Orszag’s Bid to Get Politicians Out of Policy

By: David Dayen, Firedog Lake

Tuesday September 27, 2011 12:22 pm

Peter Orszag caused a bit of a stir with his call for an enlightened technocracy, and, literally, “less democracy.”

The very serious technocrats have been wrong about everything in their own right, from the OECD to the ECB to the Fed and on down the line. This is a dodge, an attempt to get elites off the hook for their complete failure to guide the economy by saying that they’re being stymied by “democracy.”

Does Economics Still Progress?

Paul Krugman, The New York Times

September 27, 2011, 4:03 pm

I’ve never liked the notion of talking about economic “science” – it’s much too raw and imperfect a discipline to be paired casually with things like chemistry or biology, and in general when someone talks about economics as a science I immediately suspect that I’m hearing someone who doesn’t know that models are only models. Still, when I was younger I firmly believed that economics was a field that progressed over time, that every generation knew more than the generation before.

The question now is whether that’s still true. In 1971 it was clear that economists knew a lot that they hadn’t known in 1931. Is that clear when we compare 2011 with 1971? I think you can actually make the case that in important ways the profession knew more in 1971 than it does now.

What I’d add to that is that at this point it seems to me that many economists aren’t even trying to get at the truth. When I look at a lot of what prominent economists have been writing in response to the ongoing economic crisis, I see no sign of intellectual discomfort, no sense that a disaster their models made no allowance for is troubling them; I see only blithe invention of stories to rationalize the disaster in a way that supports their side of the partisan divide.


Sep 29

Should have brought the Gatlings

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Europe Readying Yet Another "This Really Will Do the Trick" Bailout Package

Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism

Saturday, September 24, 2011

(I)n another bit of deja vu all over again, the powers that be in Europe are readying yet another bailout plan, this one supposedly big enough to do the trick once and for all. The problem is that was the premise of several of the last grand schemes, such as the EFSF and the ESM. The market calming effect relatively short lived because analysts quickly pencilled out the programs were inadequate in size and failed to address the problems of lack of a fiscal mechanism at the EU level and the need to address the elephant in the room, bank solvency.

The new rescue program seeks to create a sovereign debt crisis firebreak at Greece, Portugal, and Ireland, when contagion has already put Spain, Ireland, and Belgium in the crosshairs. The high concept is leverage on leverage plus monetization: the EFSF, which is basically a CDO, would then provide the equity to a new fund, and the ECD would provide “protected ‘debt'” I’m not at all certain what the latter is supposed to mean; reader input is welcome. But this sounds like a CDO squared, with an unfunded equity tranche, as a legal/political cover for the ECB monetizing Euro sovereign debt. Nevertheless, this mechanism will allegedly allow for sovereign bailout program of €2 trillion.

Similarly, the size of the bank recapitalization program is in the “tens of billions”, vastly short of the €2-€3 trillion that some experts think is necessary. And note this is backwards: the debt needs to be written down directly (rather than trying to squeeze blood out of turnips via austerity) and banks recapitalized directly. Instead, the focus is (yet again) on bailing out the sovereigns, who will presumably still be expected to wear austerity hairshirts, which will worsen their debt to GDP ratios (even if this program does succeed in getting them cheaper debt in sufficient volumes).

The Eurocrats are going to be slow out of the gate. They want to launch the plan at the next G20 meeting, which is six weeks away, November 4. Mr. Market doesn’t care about the schedules of the officialdom, and is highly unlikely to wait that long.

Euro Zone Death Trip

By PAUL KRUGMAN, The New York Times

Published: September 25, 2011

European policy makers seem set to deliver more of the same. They’ll probably find a way to provide more credit to countries in trouble, which may or may not stave off imminent disaster. But they don’t seem at all ready to acknowledge a crucial fact – namely, that without more expansionary fiscal and monetary policies in Europe’s stronger economies, all of their rescue attempts will fail.

Think of it this way: private demand in the debtor countries has plunged with the end of the debt-financed boom. Meanwhile, public-sector spending is also being sharply reduced by austerity programs. So where are jobs and growth supposed to come from? The answer has to be exports, mainly to other European countries.

But exports can’t boom if creditor countries are also implementing austerity policies, quite possibly pushing Europe as a whole back into recession.

Also, the debtor nations need to cut prices and costs relative to creditor countries like Germany, which wouldn’t be too hard if Germany had 3 or 4 percent inflation, allowing the debtors to gain ground simply by having low or zero inflation. But the European Central Bank has a deflationary bias – it made a terrible mistake by raising interest rates in 2008 just as the financial crisis was gathering strength, and showed that it has learned nothing by repeating that mistake this year.

As a result, the market now expects very low inflation in Germany – around 1 percent over the next five years – which implies significant deflation in the debtor nations. This will both deepen their slumps and increase the real burden of their debts, more or less ensuring that all rescue efforts will fail.

Part of the problem may be that those policy elites have a selective historical memory. They love to talk about the German inflation of the early 1920s – a story that, as it happens, has no bearing on our current situation. Yet they almost never talk about a much more relevant example: the policies of Heinrich Brüning, Germany’s chancellor from 1930 to 1932, whose insistence on balancing budgets and preserving the gold standard made the Great Depression even worse in Germany than in the rest of Europe – setting the stage for you-know-what.

Greece needs to default on its debt and exit the eurozone

If the current Greek government can’t take the necessary steps to do this, it should give way to other political forces than can

Stergios Skaperdas, The Guardian

Monday 26 September 2011 05.00 EDT

Preparing for default involves the formation of a large number of expert teams to defend Greek interests with conviction. For the debt that is based on Greek law, Greece has the upper hand. Negotiations for other debt will be more difficult and protracted.

Since Greek banks will become insolvent, they will have to be nationalised and preparations will need to be made for that. The insurance and pension funds will need to be bailed out, too. For both banks and funds to be bailed out, the country will need its own currency. Therefore, exit from the eurozone would follow.

(T)here is little doubt among economists that the easiest mechanism for a country to gain competitiveness is to have its currency depreciate. Hence, Greece having its own currency is the easiest path to gaining international competitiveness. Cars and iPhones will become more expensive but food might actually become cheaper and employment will pick up within a few months after the introduction of the new drachma. By contrast, unemployment and deprivation with no end in sight are the predictable results of following the troika’s policies.

The main problem with an exit from the eurozone is the transition period. Capital controls will have to be imposed. Temporary measures to ration foreign exchange for the importation of petroleum and other essential items will have to be undertaken. How will the Bank of Greece settle with the ECB? How will debt be converted from euros to drachmas?

Sep 29


The Fair Haired Hare

Sep 29

Occupy Wall St. Livestream: Day 13

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at


The resistance continues at Liberty Square, with free pizza 😉

Keith Olbermann interviewed Matt Taibbi of Rolling about the movement and the lack of media attention.

Occupy Wall St. may be gaining strength but it’s not without its critics on the left. Many have applauded the movements support of the 99% in the lower rings of the ladder who will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption if the 1% on the top but the group had indeed yet to articulate any specific demands. While it may be performing a crucial roll in helpng to educate the uninformed abouthow they have been victimized by Wall St. and the “To Big To Fail” banks, the deliberate, almost lack of organization, the self-styles leaderless resistance movement and its refusal to articulate demands, could both hamper its growth and slow its being taken as seriously as it would like to be.

Glenn Greenwald also weighed in on the reasons for the scorn for the protest:

It’s unsurprising that establishment media outlets have been condescending, dismissive and scornful of the ongoing protests on Wall Street.  Any entity that declares itself an adversary of prevailing institutional power is going to be viewed with hostility by establishment-serving institutions and their loyalists.  That’s just the nature of protests that take place outside approved channels, an inevitable by-product of disruptive dissent: those who are most vested in safeguarding and legitimizing establishment prerogatives (which, by definition, includes establishment media outlets) are going to be hostile to those challenges.  As the virtually universal disdain in these same circles for WikiLeaks (and, before that, for the Iraq War protests) demonstrated: the more effectively adversarial it is, the more establishment hostility it’s going to provoke.

Nor is it surprising that much of the most vocal criticisms of the Wall Street protests has come from some self-identified progressives, who one might think would be instinctively sympathetic to the substantive message of the protesters.  In an excellent analysis entitled “Why Establishment Media & the Power Elite Loathe Occupy Wall Street,” Kevin Gosztola chronicles how many of the most scornful criticisms have come from Democratic partisans who — like the politicians to whom they devote their fealty — feign populist opposition to Wall Street for political gain.

One of the chief complaints, besides the “leaderless” and lack of a list of specific demands, that has been heard coming from the left is attire, as Kevin Gosztola noted in his FDL article:

Liberals have shown scorn, too, suggesting the occupation is not a “Main Street production” or that the protesters aren’t dressed properly and should wear suits cause the civil rights movement would not have won if they hadn’t worn decent clothing.

Even the liberal Mother Jones was critical:

Liberals have shown scorn, too, suggesting the occupation is not a “Main Street production” or that the protesters aren’t dressed properly and should wear suits cause the civil rights movement would not have won if they hadn’t worn decent clothing.

Both articles, Greenwald’s and Gosztola’s, need to be read in full to understand not just the reasons that the media is ignoring this movement but why and how Occupy Wall St. happened and continues.

Occupy Wall St. Is now spreading across the country:

‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest slowly spreads across the United States

The protest spread to other cities over the weekend.

A small group of “Occupy Los Angeles” demonstrators marched through the streets of downtown Los Angeles on Saturday to show their support for the protesters in New York City.

“Corporate interests seem to be controlling both parties,” one protester told “The ‘little man,’ the ‘American every man,’ just isn’t getting their voice heard. When you need $35,000 to donate to a campaign to get your voice heard, to have a meeting, that’s not democracy.”

“Occupy Los Angeles” protesters plan to begin a demonstration at City Hall on October 1. The “Occupy Los Angeles” Facebook page had nearly 2,000 likes as of Tuesday afternoon.

Another demonstration popped up in Chicago over the weekend. Around 20 “Occupy Chicago” protesters gathered at Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, on Friday and then marched to the Federal Reserve Bank. Some protesters have remained camped out in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and the organizers said the “occupation” had grown from 4 people to about 50.

Other “occupation” protests are being planned for Detroit, Denver, Cleveland, Boston, Phoenix, Seattle, Kansas City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. The site has been set up in hopes of coordinating the protests.

I have a message for the the so-called “Left”:

Get off your butts and get behind this movement because unless you are part of the 1%, they are YOU.

Sep 29

On This Day In History September 29

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

September 29 is the 272nd day of the year (273rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 93 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1547, Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, is born this day near Madrid.

Cervantes led an adventurous life and achieved much popular success, but he nevertheless struggled financially throughout his life. Little is know about his childhood, except that he was a favorite student of Madrid humanist Juan Lopez, and that his father was an apothecary.

In 1569, Cervantes was living in Rome and working for a future cardinal. Shortly thereafter, he enlisted in the Spanish fleet to fight against the Turks. At the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, he took three bullets and suffered permanent damage to his left hand. Later, he was stationed at Palermo and Naples. On the way home to Madrid in 1575, he and his brother Roderigo were captured by Barbary pirates and held captive in Algiers. Cervantes was ransomed after five years of captivity and returned to Madrid, where he began writing. Although his records indicate he wrote 20 to 30 plays, only two survive. In 1585, he published a romance. During this time, he married a woman 18 years younger than he was and had an illegitimate daughter, whom he raised in his household. He worked as a tax collector and as a requisitioner of supplies for the navy, but was jailed for irregularities in his accounting. Some historians believe he formulated the idea for Don Quixote while in jail.

In 1604, he received the license to publish Don Quixote. Although the book began as a satire of chivalric epics, it was far more complex than a simple satire. The book blended traditional genres to create a sad portrait of a penniless man striving to live by the ideals of the past. The book was a huge success and brought Cervantes literary respect and position, but did not generate much money. He wrote dramas and short stories until a phony sequel, penned by another writer, prompted him to write Don Quixote, Part II in 1615.

Cervantes died in Madrid on April 23, 1616. In honor of the date on which both Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare died, UNESCO established April 23 as the International Day of the Book. (Shakespeare and Cervantes, however, did not actually die on the same day, as the April 23 date for Shakespeare is Julian calendar (Old Style) and the April 23 date for Cervantes is Gregorian calendar (New Style) as those were the calendars in effect in England and in Spain, respectively, at that time. The Gregorian calendar was then ten days ahead of the Julian.)  

Sep 29

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

–Mohandas Gandhi

Symbol 2

Sep 29

Late Night Karaoke

Sep 29

My Little Town 20110928. Ma’s Garden Part III of II

Those of you that read this regular series know that I am from Hackett, Arkansas, just a mile of so from the Oklahoma border, and just about 10 miles south of the Arkansas River.  It was a redneck sort of place, and just zoom onto my previous posts to understand a bit about it.

Yes, I know that this is sort of an odd title, but it occurs to me that I wrote about what she grew and how we preserved it, but not about how we ate it.

Perhaps this shall clear it up a bit.  We ate lots of fresh things from the garden, and for the most part, except for the turnips and the green beans, they were pretty good.  Notice that I never grow any of those in my garden, because just to grow things for historical reasons does not feed me.

Now we shall examine, in no particular order, how we ate what Ma grew.  I shall even include the green beans and turnips!

Sep 29

Countdown with Keith Olbermann: Worst Persons 9.27.2011

Worst Persons – UC Berkeley Republicans, an Obama heckler and Joe Arpaio

Find out why the College Republicans at UC Berkeley are WORSE; the heckler at President Obama’s fundraiser in Los Angeles is WORSER; and Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., is the WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD for Sept. 27, 2011.