March 2, 2010 archive

Opinion Piece: Rahm and Obama

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This is pure political punditry, iow, I’m bullshitting.

But what a perfect topic to bullshit over.  Not a completely unrewarded activity.

We’re somehow supposed to figure out how the folks in the Executive Branch are getting along, how many people working in the Executive Branch  other than President Obama are acting in such a way, politically, that their action affects our lives insofar as the politics of legislation and governance.

Now if we had some transparency in government, I suppose we could just find that out and move on.

Alas, we don’t.

So we are reduced to speculating about our Executive Branch.

Are we witnessing a power struggle?

Probably every day, given the culture of D.C.

So in my opinion (as after all this is an opinion piece), until we have some real, honest transparency in our government, we as citizen bloggers will have to publicly bumble around until we get the answers ourselves.  And we will, oh we will.

Ha!

Forced Sterilizations of Indigenous Women (Update)

The sterilizations of indigenous women were covert means of the continuation of the extermination policy against the Indian Nations. At least three indigenous generations from 3,406 women are not in existence now as the result. The sterilizations were not unintentional or negligible. They were genocide. What would the indigenous culture and political landscape be now? One can only imagine, but the sterilizations like the relocations – were forced.

Afternoon Edition

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Quake-hit Chile deploys more troops to battle unrest

by Moises Avila Roldan, AFP

1 hr 1 min ago

CONCEPCION, Chile (AFP) – Thousands more troops were deployed across quake-hit Chile Tuesday as residents took up arms to stop a wave of mass looting in the nation’s second city, slapped with an 18-hour curfew.

President Michelle Bachelet doubled the number of troops patrolling the worst hit areas to 14,000, as people in ravaged Concepcion were barred from leaving their homes from 6:00 pm to midday.

“Military personnel will be present in the streets of Concepcion until midday to maintain public order, and they will not waver in carrying out their duties,” warned General Guillermo Ramirez.

Open HA!

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Chile: A Call For Your Assistance

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Chile’s Earthquake

The New York Times is reporting that yesterday’s Chile’s government, having recognized the far ranging extent of the national catastrophe, was at last calling for international assistance.  The Times reports:

The Grim State of the States: Public Education Under Attack

Crossposted from Antemedius

Economist James Heintz is Associate Director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachussetts, Amherst.

Heintz has written on a wide range of economic policy issues, including job creation, global labor standards, egalitarian macroeconomic strategies, and investment behavior. He has worked as an international consultant on projects in Ghana and South Africa, sponsored by the International Labor Organization and the United Nations Development Program, that focus on employment-oriented development policy.

In 2000 Heintz co-authored with The Center for Popular Economics and Nancy Folbre The Ultimate Field Guide to the U.S. Economy: A Compact and Irreverent Guide to Economic Life in America, and is also author of a variety of other books and papers on employment and economics over the past decade or so.

His current work focuses on global labor standards, employment income, and poverty; employment policies for low- and middle-income countries; and the links between macroeconomic policies and distributive outcomes.

Treasury DepAssSecBanFin To Munch Us Taxpayers as Lobbyist

President Obama’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Banking and Finance at the Treasury, one of Tim Geithner’s underlings, Damon Munchus has a great new job !  

Unfortunately, he’s feeling a little bit media shy right now, and can’t be reached for comment.

But I found a Press Release. Oh, happy day !  

Oh, lookie, he’s got company!  Jeb Mason, Policy Advisor to Henry Paulson, Bush’s Treasury Secretary.


http://www.michaelmoore.com/wo…

For Immediate Release Contact: Ben Dupuy, (202) 337-1661, ben@cypressgroupdc.com

March 1, 2010

Advisors to Geithner, Paulson Join The Cypress Group; Open New York, Dallas Offices

(Washington, D.C) —   One of the first senior-level officials to leave the Obama Treasury Department is headed to The Cypress Group, a financial services lobbying and consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. Damon Munchus, who served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Banking and Finance in Treasury’s Office of Legislative Affairs, will open the firm’s New York office as a Managing Director. The Cypress Group will also open an office in Dallas headed by Managing Director Jeb Mason, who served as the as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Business Affairs under Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. With these additions, The Cypress Group now employs former senior-level advisors to the past three Secretaries of the Treasury as well as Secretary Geithner.

At the Treasury Department, Mr. Munchus'[s] responsibilities included acting as principal liaison between the U.S. Congress and Treasury regarding financial institutions and capital markets, counseling senior Treasury officials on all pending financial matters, and creating and directing legislative strategy in order to achieve the Administration’s goals before Congress. Prior to his Treasury Department position, Mr. Munchus served as a member of President Obama’s FDIC Review Transition Team, a Vice President within the Investment Banking Division of Jefferies and Co., > and a senior financial analyst for credit portfolio strategies at Fannie Mae.

Pancakes, Prayer & Genocide: Obama & Uganda’s “Final Solution” For Queers

I’d like for you to try a little experiment for me.

It’s a very simple experiment, one that doesn’t involve stoichiometry, Bunsen burners, p values, test tubes, or access to hydrochloric acid. It’ll be fun, I swear.

Ready?

Fantastic! Let’s begin.

An Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Obama Musical Interlude

This is not a typical post for me.

Instead of writing a blog post and further destroying my wrists in the process, I figured I’d try something a little different.

Below you’ll find a video that I cobbled together from pictures I found online and designs created by my partner, a talented graphic designer who was kind enough to take a few moments to indulge me. I am not a film director, nor do I desire to be one.  It shows.

The song, however, is one that I think many people here will enjoy.  It’s called “Money Machine”, and it was recorded live at Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta. The album is entitled Jeff’s Last Dance, by Kahler & Mullins. I was at this show. It’s just two guys singing, one of whom plays the hell out of the congas.  I suppose my affinity for this song results from the fact that I do possess an inner hippie (shhh!). The song is all about corporate greed & US militarism, but it actually manages to not sound cheesy.  In fact, it happens to rock.  I hope you enjoy my amateurish iMovie editing, which was intended to convey visually the sentiments expressed in the lyrics (with a bit of snarkiness).  Even if you dislike the editing, I hope you’ll enjoy the tune.  

White Men “Saving” Brown Women From Brown Men

Anyone looking around the United States for signs of unrepentant racism should forget about over-privileged American hustlers like Skip Gates, Eric Holder, and Barack Obama, and take a walk through the Pentagon, where our next murderous “operations” in Iraq and Afghanistan are planned, or the Congress, where endless billions are effortlessly appropriated for mass murder of Asian non-persons, even after nine long years of destruction and futility, or the White House, where a nauseating con-man and his tools promulgate ludicrous apologetics for racism and genocide.

And what does it mean that the trendiest, most up-to-the-minute excuse for the murderous and illegal American occupation of Afghanistan is now… “saving” Afghan women from the Taliban, which is exactly the same as “saving” Afghan women from Afghan men of any description whatsoever, since the only discriminator between an ordinary male citizen of Afghanistan and a Taliban militant is that whatever US soldiers kill is Taliban, and before US soldiers created the latest dead “insurgent,” he looked exactly like any other male citizen.

But we have an excuse for all that killing, we stupid fucking Americans who don’t speak any of the many languages of Afghanistan or understand fuck-all about any aspect of life in Afghanistan, and never took any interest in Afghanistan whatsoever until we needed a patsy for 9/11.

We have a wonderful excuse for mass murder in Afghanistan!

We’re “protecting” brown women from brown men.

You might think that this pathetic and obscene racist propaganda was first dreamed up by Laura Bush or Barack Obama or some other goddamned political trash, but you would be mistaken.

In September 2002 the Columbia Professor Lila Abu-Lughod published a terribly prophetic article in American Anthropologist about a species of racist propaganda which had already served as an excuse for imperialist aggression all around the third world, way back in the glory days of so many European empires.

Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism and Its Others

As Laura Bush said, “Because of our recent military gains in much of Afghanistan, women are no longer imprisoned in their homes. They can listen to music and teach their daughters without fear of punishment… The fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women.

“The fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women.”

You heard it from Laura Bush, and would Laura Bush bullshit you? She used to be a librarian! She helped little girls check out books! (Before she became a mostly silent partner in top-down class war and genocide.)

But Professor Abu-Lughod had heard it all before.

These words have haunting resonance for anyone who has studied colonial history. Many who have worked on British colonialism in South Asia have noted the use of the “woman question” in colonial policies where intervention into sati (the practice of widows immolating themselves on their husbands funeral pyres), child marriage, and other practices was used to justify colonial rule. As Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak has cynically put it: white men saving brown women from brown men.

The historical record is full of similar cases, including in the Middle East. In Turn of the Century Egypt, what Leila Ahmed called “colonial feminism” was hard at work. This was a selective concern about the plight of Egyptian women that focused on the veil as a sign of oppression.

No one doubts that very bad things have happened to women in India and Egypt and Afghanistan, and every example of brutality in Afghanistan for the last 30 years has been carefully catalogued by apologists for our senseless invasion and murderous occupation, and sanctimoniously attributed to the contemptible medieval theology of the Taliban and traditional Islam in general…

As if the glorious lifestyle which apologists for mass murder intend to share with the women of Afghanistan didn’t imply a few risks of its own.

For example, HIV.

While Americans are cursing the Taliban’s evil brand of Islam, and attributing every abuse of every woman who was ever abused in Afghanistan to the Taliban, suppose the Taliban turned the tables and attributed every gruesome case of HIV in the United States to the evil American brand of “secular humanism” or “Christian capitalism” or whatever other name you may assign to the mélange of greed, stupidity, and sanctimoniousness that passes for American culture.

The point of this analogy is… that’s how the Taliban see themselves, as protecting women against aspects of “modernity” like sexual promiscuity, and their “superstitious and primitive” religion may even inspire them to believe that sexual promiscuity may cause some godawful plague (like HIV) to descend upon the population!

So while “secular humanists” are bemoaning abuses in Afghanistan, the Taliban could just as well demand an answer to their questions, like…

How many lives has “secular humanism” sacrificed on the altar of “sexual freedom?”

In 2007, the CDC estimated that 583,298 people had died of AIDS so far, including 557,902 adults and adolescents, and 4,891 children.

And it’s just as accurate (and includes just as much context) to claim that all those lives were sacrificed on the altar of sexual promiscuity by “secular humanism,” as attributing every instance of abuse of every woman who was ever abused in Afghanistan to “primitive” Islam.

And yet this imperialist dogma excuses everything, and every time some lunatic in Afghanistan mutilates a woman, and every time Afghan children are murdered by American bombs and rockets and artillery, shit apologists for our murderous occupation smile their superior smiles and congratulate themselves for “saving” brown women from brown men.

But if you want to know what “colonial feminism” really means for the women of Afghanistan…

You can see it in James Nachtwey’s great photograph.

James Nachtwey

Note: Although I wouldn’t expect shit-head apologists for genocide to comprehend simple maps and statistics which illustrate the differential prevalance of HIV in Islamic and non-Islamic countries in the third world, other readers are referred to my diary on this subject, which I posted in December, 2009.

Docudharma Times Tuesday March 2




Tuesday’s Headlines:

Chile earthquake: Troops sent in to deter looting and violence

Ice deposits found at Moon’s pole

USA

Nuclear projects face financial obstacles

Team overseeing national database of dangerous or incompetent caregivers is removed

Europe

Poland’s ace reporter Ryszard Kapuscinski accused of fiction-writing

Karadzic defends Serb aggression as ‘just and holy’

Middle East

Will Israel heritage sites spark next Palestinian intifada?

IAEA says it can’t confirm Iran nuclear program is peaceful

Asia

China appoints Panchen Lama in tactical move to quell unrest

Marjah’s residents wary of U.S. after Taliban ouster

Africa

Niger coup leaders name transitional government

Latin America

Get Shorty: Mexico still searching for ‘El Chapo’, the 5ft 6in drugs lord

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning


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