Friday, December 16, 2011

Things to Know - 16 December

1.  Robert Scheer starts us off with a piece on how our civil liberties are being trashed and a budget that keeps the MIC in plush shape:

2.  This article points out something that many people had already suspected about the Tea Party - It was all about Racism - directed against the 1st black president - that got them started.  Guess who has recently come up with this notion?  You'd be surprised:

3.  Here's a Porkie piece, but not like the usual ones:  By the time you read this, we will be getting feedback from recent polls that show that he has maybe peaked and is starting to show signs of slippage.   Leroy N. Gingrich thinks outside the box because he's not happy being in the box with the rest.  He's too good to be in the box with others. He needs to be unrestricted by boundaries because his his ego is too big.  So, he does strange things and he couldn't care less how many boxes he destroys in the process.  The business of Newt is to be different, in a bombastic, and destructive manner.  It sells books:

4.  Here's the Sioux City GeeOpee debate which is like going to a zoo and watching the hyenas snarl and dodge each other while trying to take each other out:

5.  Paul Krugman is a Nobel Prize winning Economist.   Ron Paul is a medical doctor and a Congressman.  Mr. Krugman is going beyond Porkie (having dismissed him as over the hill and gone past his peak).  Ron Paul will probably be up next, and he is taken to task for his views on the economy.  As Krugman is no MD, Paul is no Economist:

6.  Timothy Egan shares his views on the subject of too much information being shared hastily on digital devices.   One advantage of being behind the technology curve for the old or senior generations is that the indiscretions of digital diarrhea are not as formidable or as prevalent or as haunting:

7.  Christopher Hitchens.  Brilliant and beyond interesting.  Not always someone you could agree with, but he made you have to think, not just think:,0,141590,print.story

8.  The plight of the immigrant culture, both past and present, in East Hollywood, California, and probably every where:,0,6323647,print.column

9.  Iraq.   The war is over.  The MIC is furious, and so are the elected officials that they have bought.  What else is new?,0,6177582,print.story

Juan Matute

"Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator and change has its enemies."
       -- Robert F. Kennedy
"The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way."
       -- Samuel Butler
"There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them."
       -- Emile Chartier
"I can't bring myself to say, 'Well, I guess I'll be toddling along.' It isn't that I can't toddle. It's just that I can't guess I'll toddle."
       -- Robert Benchley
"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast."
       -- Oscar Wilde

Friday, December 9, 2011

Things to Know - 9 December

1.  There is something very morally disgusting about the subject in this article (disposing of US Troop remains in a landfill).  Ultimately it is not that the ashes are mingled with discarded yard debris and general waste products, but the shame by which unclaimed body parts are just part of the business of making war.  Personally, I am a cremation, no afterlife kind of guy, and probably should not care much,  But, I do.  I care about the cavalier attitude that has inured the military bureaucracy in how it respects human life being thrown into an other crumby and dumb war:

2.  Remember those ads on TV by ANGA, where they gloss over or do not mention the harm done by fracking to our drinking water tables?  Well. let's see them wiggle out of this?

3. There is someone else, by the name of Thom Hartmann,  who has some text and video on things you should know:

4.  The other people who stand on the stage with Porkie chime in with their assessment of his character:

5.  It really is difficult to take Gingrich as a serious candidate.  He's just performing, like a former aging pop star, now relegated to casino lounges and county fairs, and instead of selling CDs at the back of the venue, he's selling books instead.  He's an insult to serious politicking:

6.  Not to be overlooked, David Brooks has something to say about Leroy Newton Gingrich.  A bit of praise, but ends in pointing out his character flaws:

7.  Paul Krugman on Romney, his record at Bain, the wealthy, and the obligation of the 1%:

8.  Boyle Heights, in Los Angeles, is a rich cultural and historical part of the city.  Hector Tobar paints a picture in words:,0,1817494.column

9  This is for all those naysayers who claim that climate change ("global warming") is a hoax, or is not a man-made problem:,0,3206861,print.story

Juan Matute

"What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow."
       -- A.A. Milne
"It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth."
       -- George Burns
"The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it's just sort of a tired feeling."
       -- Paula Poundstone
"When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other."
       -- Eric Hoffer
"We are an impossibility in an impossible universe."
       -- Ray Bradbury

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Things to Know - 23 November


1.  Thom Hartmann with the text and video of the news.  Easy:

2.  Matt Taibbi from Rolling Stone on the shameless conduct by police in dealing with a non-violent group of Occupy protesters.  It is from events like this that the reconstitution of OWS will change the fabric of our future:

3.  Here is the profile of a destructive member of the super committee who really had no intention of negotiating:

4.  For those of you who are interested, here is the collection of video and sound bites of the GeeOpie "debate" last night:

5.  Oregon's governor has stopped killing people on death row.  See, it's easy.   It's more humane, and its a whole lot cheaper:

6.  Steve Lopez, no stranger to the down and out in Los Angeles (remember the "Soloist"?), explains how help is need for those at the zero percent level:,0,2015386.column

7.  As has been said before, whenever Bozo PorkieGrinch blows out a bombastic blast, he is asking for trouble.  His comment on child labor laws will haunt him forevever:,0,1667371,print.story

8.  Gregory Rodriguez is now contributing a piece about every 6 weeks.  This one on the illness that is a pallor over our nation is worth waiting for:,0,2504277,print.column

9.  Thomas Friedman comes out BIG for Obama, but only if he follows Tommy's suggestions:,0,2504277,print.column

10.  The writer of this column is a Senior at Pomona College, and I consider him to be extremely bright and articulate (he's in the Politics class that I audit).  He brings forward the anxiety that college students feel about the collapse of Wall Street, the dim light ahead in the future, and what this all means to him and all those in college today:

Juan Matute

"They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some
kind of federal program."
       -- George W.Bush (Nov. 2, 2000)
"As I grow older , I regret to say that a detestable habit of thinking seems to be getting a hold of me."
       -- H. Rider Haggard
"Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor."
       -- Robert Frost
"I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers."
       -- Mahatma Gandhi
"Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today."
       -- Herman Wouk

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fwd: Things to Know - 22 November

1.  If the police actions against the Occupy movement was designed to snuff out the ideology, that is not happening.  If anything, the movement will come back even stronger.  Police action can only go so far.  It will eventually fail because the emotion to question the civility of our ways will prevail:

2.  This kind of story makes you wonder.  Corporations run the halls of most of our congressional legislators, so why not try and squeeze more out of the working stiffs by taking away their classification for overtime pay?:

3.  Civil disobedience has always been with us, as it is today, and in the future.  Our history is steeped in it.  This article invites you to understand the world of the protester who does his thing by standing still, holding a sign, and getting carted off in plastic cuffs by the police.   That's about all we ever see.  This article takes you beyond that, to the point of "post and forfeiture" whereby you pay $100 to just get all your stuff back and get released.   What happens if you want to speak to a judge and jury to plead your reasons for civil disobedience?  What would happen if thousands turned down the "post and forfeiture" junction and flooded the jails and courts?   Read on and consider what is involved, and what you need to be prepared for it:

4.  Newt proposes getting rid of unionized janitors and "empowering" children to take the jobs, stating that child labor laws "are stupid".  He is either mentally unstable, or really trying to guarantee himself news coverage:

5.  Eugene Robinson offers his post mortem on the failure of finding any compromise the the super-dupers:

6.  The NY Times also weighs in on the failure, and why the GeeOpie guys are at fault - Grover N. - your bad:

7.  This, from the cutting-edge Santa Monica News Bureau - Fox viewers are not so smart:

8.  170 economists from colleges and universities have signed on to a petition in support of the Occupy Movement.  I wonder if Newt is going to tell them all to get a job after they take a bath?:

9.  A Republican (notice that I can actually use that term), muses about the abysmal condition of his party, and wonders where and when it went nutso:

Juan Matute

"One-fifth of the people are against everything all the time."
       -- Robert Kennedy
"Art is science made clear."
       -- Jean Cocteau
"Sometimes I get the feeling the whole world is against me, but deep down I know that's not true. Some smaller countries are neutral."
       -- Robert Orben
"Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation."
       -- Judith Martin
"I am no more humble than my talents require."
       -- Oscar Levant

Friday, November 18, 2011

Things to Know - 18 November

Porkie - you should have stayed at #6 with 4%.  Now, the media, which you have

characteristically and arrogantly aliented will be unrelenting.

1.  Having a need to take a break from OWS, let's go back to the days of Watergate, Nixon and Hoover (J. Edgar).  I gotta go see the move:

2.  Not exactly a direct reference to OWS, but a collateral problem of a lack of public facilities, and an analysis of the situation and an observation of the universal response:

3.  The Washington Post is doing its duty to the public with this article.  Newt is wallowing in lobby money from the folks at Big Pharma. The self-professed historian is nothing but a snake oil salesman's charmer.  No scruples.  No values.  Just a belly full of hot air and a briefcase full of bombastic adverbs and adjectives.  A real P.O.S:

4.  David Brooks writes about the problems besetting the Eurozone - European Union, or whatever you want to call it.  The great European experiment is an economic work in progress.   That's what it is intention was in the beginning, but what is giving it fits is the sociology elements and variables that are not cooperating.  The tribes don't mix well in all cases. When things are not going well, the ethnocentric bullets start flying.  The Greeks and the Italians are blamed for their entitlement lifestyles....well that does not bode well for holding up the big tent.  Now we are off to the blame game, and the purpose of holding the Euro is now being called into question.  Crap it's just class warfare on a different cable network:

5.  Herman Cain's presence has stirred interest, controversy, and old wounds to be reopened.   He's really not a serious candidate, and his continued presence underscores the lack of talent:,0,1110627,print.column

6.  Here is a job creator military project?   The MIC is making twenty 30,000 pound bunker-buster bombs for $314 million.  JFL.   I know that our service men and women in Afghanistan will feel so much safer now that we have these weapons on hand.  I wonder how many roadside IEDs each one of them will be able to take out?   Does the $314 million include delivery by UPS, or are there several more millions required to transport and store them?  Is this a great country or what?,0,3582708.story

7.  Paul Krugman concurs that the given situation in Congress, failure by the so-called super committee is a win.   Our legislative branch is so dysfunctional.  Over half have sworn allegiance and their oath to Grover Nordquist, their proposed legislation is written by lobbyists, and their decision making is outsourced to committees.  Caca:

8.  Hector Tobar's story is a classic example of the beauty of our Immigrant Nation.  You see, people come in from other countries with the the American Dream in mind, and they work hard to achieve it.  They are not tainted or jaded by generations of take-it-for-granted apathy that affects a great swath of our nation.  Immigrants of all stripes and colors are what keeps this nation vibrant and alive.  Stories like this remind us that the greatness of our continued existence comes from within and outside:,0,6585792,print.column

Juan Matute

 "Fear is the soul's signal for rallying.
       -- Henry Ward Beecher
"Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know."
       -- Ernest Hemingway
"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty."
       -- John Adams
"Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?"
       -- Edgar Bergen
"Anarchy - it's not the law, it's just a good idea."
       -- Unknown

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fwd: Things to Know - 17 November

Mike Luckovich cartoon: Parade balloon


Newt's Fan Club has many members

1.  As all the "debates", OWS raids, weather and earthquake disasters swirl around us, the income distribution widens in this country.   Most people call it the "economy", and yes in a scientific sense it is an economic issue.  However the collateral damage is that our society is being destroyed.  Our sense of community through unmet expectations, a loss of a sense of fairness and justice is eroding our moral fiber as a nation.   This cannot last very long, and it will not.  We are already seeing the baby-steps of the beginnings of a revolution.  Do I sound like a crazed neo-something or other left over from the 60's???.....maybe.    There is too much doom and gloom and lack of hope to sustain the American Dream:

2.  It is awfully difficult not to develop a sense of outrage.  Stuff like this, if it is true, is a real disappointment. Disappointed because you would think that the greedy bastards would have gotten the message by now.  No, they have not.  It's an insult to think that "they" think that they can get away with it without repercussions:

3.  When you put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig.  A very dirty, deceitful, greedy, and sick pig:

4.  With observations, journalistic pieces, and opinions by so many people involved in reporting the human experience of our times, the violent reaction by the police -"the servants of the 1%" - the Occupation Movement will not fold, and will come back to haunt, and will eventually succeed over time.  How peaceful the transition, and how fair and just it operates will be determined by political leadership that has not as yet come forth.

5.  Considering the Dysfunction of Congress, this suggestion of failure looks like a great idea:

6.  Most of us agree that political campaign funding winds up corrupting the intent of our representative form of democracy.  If we are to learn anything from the OWS emotions, it is that we cannot sustain the 1% controlling the system.  Here is one great suggestion to begin getting us back to what the US Constitution means:

7.  Newton Leroy "Porky" Gingrich, by mere fact of just standing around while all the others imploded, is now the latest "Not-Mitt" figure in the spotlight.  How long do you give him before he wallows in his baggage?  He'll be around long enough for me to continually dump a daily load on him.  He deserves it:

8.  Guns.

Juan Matute

"I'm a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house."
       -- Zsa Zsa Gabor
"So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause."
       -- George Lucas
"No one can have a higher opinion of him than I have, and I think he's a dirty little beast."
       -- W. S. Gilbert
"Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think."
       -- Ambrose Bierce
"This isn't right. This isn't even wrong."
       -- Wolfgang Pauli

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Things to Know - 16 November


1.  The process of reconstitution is beginning:

2.  This is the significance on the delay of the decision of the Keystone Pipeline. by Bill McKibben:

3.  How the government shutdowns work to the advantage of the 1% and Jack Abramoff airs his game plan on influencing legislators (in case you missed it):

4.  Noot is up at bat now, and here is one high-level fast pitch to him.  There will be more.  You can bet on it.  I'm waiting for the inside brush-backs which he cannot dodge:

5.  Here is an interesting piece by someone who does not give the Tea Party or OWS much chance of any endurance and that they will eventually flame out.  He give his reasons why, and you might find them interesting:

6.  Mandatory health care insurance is the subject, and here is an opinion from a professor at well-established school of law

7.  Another curve ball from the the mound of the NY Times, and it's high and inside, but hardly a brush back.  Ball two on Noot:

8.  Thomas Friedman fits in well here.  He"s in India, writing about their problems.  Kind of takes your mind of the GeeOpie and OWS:

9.  Occupy Los Angeles is targeted to be removed as well.  The reconstituting process is probably being contemplated. We'll see where this goes:,0,7952898,print.story

Juan Matute

"The only way to be truly misogynistic is to be a woman."
       -- Randy K. Milholland
"There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers."
       -- William James
"Someday we'll look back on this moment and plow into a parked car."
       -- Evan Davis
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts."
       -- Albert Einstein

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Things to Know - 15 November

1.  Do we have any volunteers to serve a subpoena on Dick Cheney tomorrow?  Check this out:

2.  So, far do you think Karl Rove is going to go, and what is he going to get in trying to slime Elizabeth Warren?:

3.  The hot-button Supreme Court issue is on deck:

4.  Thom Hartmann and his video and text of the news.  One thing that is not on here, and which I picked up from Matt Cartmill (he of College Bowl fame), is that the Bank of America has silently moved all of its toxic investments (busted homes and foreclosures, etc) from one side of its ledger to the retail banking side, which effectively moves the liability of that paper over to the FDIC side.   Now, the tax payer is on the hook for all of BofA's bad loans if it fails.  Where is the outrage?:

5.  You want to watch somebody wing it and screw it up at the same time, watch the Hermanator:

6.  Bank of America has no shame.  Here is another unconscionable rip-off fee; charging customers to receive their the unemployment benefits:

7.  It's unanimous.  If a GeeOpie guy is elected president, we are guaranteed to launch a unilateral military incursion into Iran and we will be saddled with World War 3.  And, how are we going to pay for that?....for starters.  Have we not learned anything from our past military blunders?:

8.  Not only do they want to start wars, they love to torture as well.  Nice group of guys (and lady).   Who would Jesus vote for?:

9.  Much is on the table to discuss on the merits of Medicare for All:,0,3665371,print.story 

10.  The inevitable happened at 1:00AM last night.  The Police came in, raided, seized the gear, and cleared the OWS crowd out, and made arrests.  There is probably going to a lot of writing about this phenomena (the OWS itself, and the speculation of how mayors, police chiefs, and the entrenched reigns of power reacted).  However, in my opinion OWS has not gone away.  It will come back.  My concern is that may reconstitute itself in some form of violence, on either side.   Those who think that it is all over, and that the streets are back in full control should think twice:

Juan Matute

"If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run - and often in the short one - the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative."
       -- Arthur C. Clarke
"Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before."
       -- Edith Wharton
"It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office."
       -- H. L. Mencken
"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."
       -- Will Rogers

Monday, November 14, 2011

Things to Know - 14 November

1.  This article takes place in Washington, Georgia.  A rural city with the same polarizing problems of Washington D.C. and elsewhere.  Looking at ourselves in a micro-political way may shed light on the bigger problems of the nation.  Things are ugly all over, but understanding and working through the local issues may help resolve the national dysfunction:

2.  How long can we continue to depend on a sustainable supply of fish in the ocean?:

3.  E.J. Dionne informs us that the GeeOpie candidates in the their wisdom of bozodom have hijacked the moral integrity of whatever it is that they are:

4.  Pure speculation by Bill Keller on how Romney can win, and what it would mean:

5.  Paul Krugman takes Romney to task for suggesting that the Veterans Health Administration should morph into a voucher system:

6.  The old world of the KKK is alive and well today in Alabama.  Only, now it exists in a new format and a different ethnic target.  The South - where ignorance and intolerance is an enduring tradition:

7.  This one has been making the rounds, and in case you have missed it, here it is.   It is Warren Buffet's quick 5-minute fix to fix Congress:

8.  This is not a matter of "political correctness" but it does demonstrate that Atheists in the military should have their space along with the office-recommended faith.   To deny them is to be no better than the intolerance and ignorance found in our most backwater sectors of the community:,0,6680206,print.story
Juan Matute

"I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell."
       -- Harry S Truman
"Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody."
       -- Benjamin Franklin
"How is it possible to find meaning in a finite world, given my waist and shirt size?"
       -- Woody Allen
"Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf."
       -- Lewis Mumford

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Things to Know - 9 November

1.  Take this quiz to see where you stand (or sit and read) with current events:

2, This narrative and video of "The Story of Broke" has been making the rounds.  If you have not seen or heard it, do  so now:

3.  The class of warfare that is being waged by the extreme right in reaction to OWS has Paul Krugman a bit upset:

4.  As we read this now, we will all know that Mississippi has turned down legislation defining "person hood" at the moment of conception.  Pretty bold statement from a place like Mississippi.  Do you think that removing that same status from a corporation is possible?  Read on:

5.   Ready for a light-hearted break?:

6.  Tom Friedman sees similarities with Indian and OWS frustrations:

7.  A quick glance on yesterday's election results:,0,5636236,print.story

8.  Blue Laws are a hallmark of the South.  Georgia is almost there in joining the 20th Century:

Juan Matute

"Boxing is the only sport you can get your brain shook, your money took and your name in the undertaker's book."
       -- Joe Frazier
"There is no greater importance in all the world like knowing you are right and that the wave of the world is wrong, yet the wave crashes upon you."
       -- Norman Mailer
"Free advice is worth the price."
       -- Robert Half
"Politics is made up largely of irrelevancies."
       -- Dalton Camp
"The ability to delude yourself may be an important survival tool."
       -- Jane Wagner

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Things to Know - 8 November

1.  History may be in the offing.  Georgia will have an opportunity to inch its way into the 20th Century (19th century by some accounts):

2.  The Keystone Pipeline has pitted Obama against his loyal young supporters who worked form him in his last election.  The promise to strike big gains for the improvement of the environment, if not carried out be turning down the pipeline, may be very bad news for the Obama campaign:

3.  If you have time, read this one through to the end.   The OWS has an affect of giving a platform to activist and gifted writers to come forth with, in this case, a critical manifesto.   I really like it.  It can be taken as a very thoughtful piece written with passion, or it can be seen as one brick in the wall that forms a new socio-economic system:

4.  A creative way of working around a foreclosure to keep the owners in the property and avoiding neighborhood blight.  How does it reg received by a couple of stiff-necked and non-creative GeeOpiers?:

5.  Georgia's recent immigration law is hammering its bureaucracy and creating unintended consequences.  One problem, as we know is a lack of workers to pick the crops, and this in another one.  Stay tuned for more:

6.  Here is an example of the welfare state gone amok:

7.  The Pizza man should have stayed behind the counter, and away from driving people to and from Italian restaurants: 

8.  There is nothing unusual about UCLA's new cuisine menu for its students.   40% of the student body is of Asian ethnicity, and the city of Los Angeles is about as diverse a city that you can find in the USA.   It's great!.  Meanwhile, all of the MBA and Urban Planing students are out chasing Taco trucks in West LA, or looking in East LA for the "primo tamale".  Life is good:,0,1806458,print.story

9.  This article points out the hypocrisy of the GeeOpie stands on two federal programs that require universal participation:,0,5499244,print.column

10.  Calling out the GeeOpie dominated state legislatures for purposely trying to suppress the opposition voters:,0,677375,print.story

11.  The NY Times editorial that asks that bankers refrain from receiving bonus payments ends it for today:

Juan Matute

"The things we know best are the things we haven't been taught."
       -- Marquis de Vauvenargues
"The will to be stupid is a very powerful force, but there are always alternatives."
       -- Lois McMaster Bujold
"Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."
       -- Oscar Wilde
"It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations."
       -- Sir Winston Churchill

Monday, November 7, 2011

Things to Know - 7 November

1.  Paul Krugman is on the Green Bus.  He's questioning whether the fossil-brained Congress will get off its stalling tactics and get moving.  Moving to sustainable resources is actually cheaper, when you consider the costs of burning fossil fuels (oil, gas) should include the costs to the environment (air, water, and our health).  Just read on to see why fracking and letting energy industries off the hook without regulation is like a criminal subsidy:

2.  This is going to be fun. Romney is now going to distance himself from the rest of the GeeOpie pack of candidates and expand his creds on foreign policy.  He's opening himself up to even more flip-flops in an area in which he has absolutely minimal experience other than standing on street corners in a foreign country and hawking the visions of the Angel Moroni:

3.  Here's the nut-and-bolts description of an incident in Washington D.C. with the Occupiers and a Koch-sponsored event:

4.  The only GeeOpie figure that could gather enough interest to run, is actually a statue of a dead guy whose positions on the issues are not very popular with his party:

5.  E.J. Dionne and the matter or religion as it pertains to candidates philosophy on public policy and the separation of church and state for believers and non-believers:

6.  There is an interesting discussion here on merging disciplines of humanities and hard sciences.  Kind of like a turf war for some, but I think the opinions that they are distinctly separate are foolish.  Neuroscience is the common ground of thought between the two that molds them together:  

7.  To those who don't think that the so-far short life of OWS has not accomplished much, read this.  The writer of this column also pretty much slams Milton Friedman's tenet that corporations have no real business in acting out a policy of social responsibility.  Milton, you are dead wrong - on both counts;  Dead, and Wrong:,0,1522324,print.column

8.  Doyle McManus and his speculation on next year's election.  There really is nothing else to talk about.  Just the normal flame-out of the month for the GeeOpie and the the do nothing Congress:,0,3737928.column

9.   Fracking is the process by which extremely high-pressure liquids are blasted into below-earth pockets of fossil fuel material to force gas to the surface.  Read this link to see if there is any connection between this controversial process and the recent earthquake in Oklahoma:  

10.  You should know that it is a beautiful clear and cold morning here in Claremont.   There is snow up on Mt. Baldy, about a
25 minute drive up the road.  Beautiful!

Juan Matute

"The only people who say worse things about politicians than reporters do are other politicians."
       -- Andy Rooney
"Knowledge is power, if you know it about the right person."
       -- Ethel Mumford
"Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles."
       -- George Jean Nathan
"I once said cynically of a politician, 'He'll doublecross that bridge when he comes to it.'"
       -- Oscar Levant
"Weather forecast for tonight: dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning."
       -- George Carlin

Monday, October 31, 2011

Fwd: Things to Know - 30 October - A Sunday Supplement

Here's something from my friend John Merrick.  It's a necessary read before we go around blovating how we are #1 and the Greatest.   The USA does some dirty deeds, some in the name of Democracy and Freedom, but really this contribution reflects a foreign policy of blatant regime change for the benefit of the United States corporate structure and nothing else.  Shame, Shame, Shame:

1.   In 1903, the US needed to build the Panama Canal for strategic military and commercial reasons. This necessitated a regime change. Panama had been a northern province of Columbia.

2.   The US established military bases in Nicaragua from 1912 to 1925. In 1909, the US had engineered a regime change by helping to depose the Liberal General Jose Zelaya. In 1925, the US created the National Guard in Nicaragua. Augusto Cesare Sandino waged a guerrilla war from 1926 to 1932 to expel the US military forces. In 1934, Sandino was assassinated by the National Guard forces under Anastasio Somoza. Somoza would rule the country as a dictator with US backing until his own assassination in 1956.

3.   In 1951, Jacobo Arbenz was democratically elected president of Guatemala in a landslide victory. The election was free and fair. Arbenz sought to transform the feudal economy to a modern capitalist economy. He began with a fair redistribution of land. He passed the Agrarian Reform Act. The United Fruit Company, however, opposed these land seizures and wanted to maintain the feudal nature of the economy to maximize profits. United Fruit lobbied the US government for a regime change. US Public Relations/propaganda pioneer Edward Bernays was hired to concoct a propaganda war that would make regime change palatable.

4.   In 1951, Mohammed Mossadegh was democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran. He nationalized Iranian oil production. The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), however, had a monopoly on Iranian oil production. The UK oil company made 170 million pounds in profit per year. But Iranian workers were economically exploited and saw littler of these profits. The British government then decided to orchestrate a regime change in Iran. British intelligence, M16, coordinated its efforts with the CIA, Operation TPAJAX. The CIA and M16 organized a staged mass demonstration in Teheran. In August, 1953, Mossadegh was overthrown and the Shah was installed in power for 26 years.

5.   In 1960, the Congo obtained its independence. Patrice Lumumba, the leader of the MNC, became the first Prime Minister of the Congo. Lumumba, however, obtained aid from the USSR. The Belgian government and corporations, and the CIA saw this as a Soviet takeover bid. The CIA then engineered a regime change in the Congo. ANC leader Joseph Mobutu Sese Seko was put in power, imprisoning Lumumba. On January 17, 1961, Lumumba was assassinated.

6.   On April 15, 1961, 1,500 Cuban exiles armed, trained, and supplied by the US in Florida, began the CIA-orchestrated attempt to engineer a regime change in Cuba, the military overthrow of Fidel Castro. The regime change in Cuba had been organized initially during the President Dwight D. Eisenhower administration, known as Operation Pluto. There have reportedly been over 600 regime change attempts against Castro by the US.

7.   In Ecuador, democratically elected President Jose Velasco was forced to resign in a regime change orchestrated by the US in 1961.

8.   Ngo Dinh Diem was assassinated in South Vietnam in 1963 in a coup that the US was aware of and allowed to happen, in effect, dumping Diem because he was not a pliant enough proxy.

9.   In 1965, the Dominican Republic was invaded to support the regime of Donald Reid Cabral in opposition to the Constitutionalist candidate Juan Bosch, who threatened to unseat Cabral. Bosch complained: "This country is not pro-American, it is United States property."

10.  In 1970, Salvador Allende, described as a "Marxist", became the democratically elected leader of Chile. Immediately following the 1970 elections in Chile, the US planned a regime change. US Ambassador Edward Korry recommended a "pre-emptive military coup." The CIA began organizing Operation Fubelt, the overthrow of the Marxist/Communist regime of Allende.

Is this how democracy is defined? Kissinger gets to decide who rules the Chilean people? The CIA destabilization policy was not working. From the moment of Allende's election, the CIA decided on a coup d'etat, a regime change or overthrow of the Allende regime. The US government, however, wanted to cover-up the US role in the regime change. A CIA cable from October 16, 1970 disclosed that the CIA had decided on a coup or regime change in Chile but sought to cover-up/conceal CIA involvement:

It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG and American hand be well hidden.

On September 11, 1973, the CIA engineered a regime change in Chile with the overthrow of Salvador Allende. Allende was assassinated. The US installed the dictator Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet would murder 3,000-50,000 Chilean citizens. In the 1990s, Spain sought to extradite him to stand trial for these murders. The US media blithely reported on the Pinochet murder charges, but censored the fact that the US had installed him in power illegally in 1973. Isn't the US complicit in his mass murders?

11.  On October 13, 1983, Bernard Coard, overthrew the Prime Minister of Grenada, Maurice Bishop. Coard was described as a "Marxist" and pro-Soviet. On October 25, in Operation Urgent Fury, 1,200 US troops from the 75th Rangers invaded Grenada and deposed the Coard regime.

12.  In December, 1989, US President George Bush ordered a regime change in Panama. In Operation Just Cause, the US invaded Panama, captured the Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, and brought him back for trial in the US as a POW. Manuel Noriega had been in the pay of the US Army and CIA for over 30 years. George Bush had even worked with Noriega. The United Nations declared the invasion "a flagrant violation of international law."

13.  On September 30, 1991, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overthrown by a military coup led by Lieutenant General Raoul Cedras. In September, 1994, 20,000 US troops invaded Haiti to re-install Aristide. Before the US invasion, then US Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell met with Cedras and presented him with a US ultimatum: Cedras could leave Haiti and there would be no US military assault or he could remain in power and be overthrown by military force.

14.  Regime change has been the norm in US foreign policy, not the exception, as the Bush administration wants to make us believe. The regime change in Iraq in 2003 is part of this long-standing policy of overthrowing regimes that are hostile to US interests. What is perhaps new and novel about the Iraqi regime change is that it is no longer covert or shrouded in propaganda and justified or rationalized by invoking the UN or humanitarianism, i.e., "humanitarian intervention" to prevent a genocide. Regime change is being advocated openly and overtly. This is what is new. But everything else is exactly the same.

Juan Matute

"Our culture runs on coffee and gasoline, the first often tasting like the second."
       -- Edward Abbey
"It is no coincidence that in no known language does the phrase 'As pretty as an Airport' appear."
       -- Douglas Adams
"The outcome of any serious research can only be to make two questions grow where only one grew before."
       -- Thorstein Veblen
"There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it."
       -- Mary Wilson Little
"The goal of all inanimate objects is to resist man and ultimately defeat him."
       -- Russell Baker

Things to Know - 31 October

1.  The labor movement has not been well for the last several decades.  Santa Monica is the venue where the folks who wash cars have now been recognized as a collective bargaining unit.  One small bubble on you hood, and one giant leap a clean cruise:

2.  In Colorado, the city of Boulder is toying with a ballot initiative that would convert its local energy supplier from a private entity to a municipally-owned  venture.  Read what is at stake and why this is being done:

3.  It would appear, from E.J.Dionne's perspective, that Paul Ryan is getting upset and sensitive to the narrative of the OWS movement.  The elephant in the room is finally being recognized by Ryan, and he is uncomfortable as he is carrying the water for the 1%:

4.  I am including this column so that you can see how one justifies continuing spending to support the MIC.  Why? Why? Why?   At what point to we recognize the needs of our domestic agenda?   The biggest and most bloated entitlement program we have is the Military-Industrial Complex:

5.  So, to counter Paul Samuelson's above column, we now have Paul Krugman.  His offering is more detailed and deeper....but of course he is a Nobel Prize recipient:

6.  At stake here is uranium mining around the Grand Canyon, which would even allow the Russians to mine the element without even paying us any royalties.   The fix is having the administration continue with a 20-year moratorium.  Naturally, the mining industry is lining up its money and lobbying power to get their way.  You even been to the Grand Canyo?  - lovely place:

7.  I am sure that the mayors and police chiefs all around the country are conversing on how to cope, handle, and remove the Occupy crowds.  Appearance in the media is everything:,0,2391624.story

8.  Bill Keller, of the NY Times, is also one of those to whom the Occupy Movement has not completely registering.  While he has valid observations, in my opinion he is missing something.   As these observations come and go, it is necessary to think "out of the box" as they say.  The movement does not follow the necessary precepts of your standard protest, and that is what makes it unique to me.  If the demands were clearly enunciated, the opposition would clearly form its resistance and repel the thing.  Since there is confusion as to what it is all about, but there is this sense that something is wrong, the guilty, or those who think they may be guilty begin to panic.  It's a work in progress, formed on a basic dissatisfaction, that defines its many attractions and goals as it goes along.  Too many pundits and observers, like Bill Keller, are quick to demand answers:

9.  This editorial is saying that the Gee Opie candidates have basically Flat-Lined:

Juan Matute

"I love a finished speaker, I really, truly do I don't mean one who's polished, I just mean one who's through."
       -- Richard Armour *
"One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us."
       -- Kurt Vonnegut
"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people."
       -- G. K. Chesterton
"There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it."
       -- George Bernard Shaw
"If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself."
       -- Mickey Mantle

*Geoff's Dad

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Things to Know - 26 October

"Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil."
       -- Aristotle
"The follies which a man regrets most, in his life, are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity."
       -- Helen Rowland
"A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking."
       -- Jerry Seinfeld
"What a pity, when Christopher Colombus discovered America, that he ever mentioned it."
       -- Margot Asquith
"You will find that the State is the kind of organization which, though it does big things badly, does small things badly, too."
       -- John Kenneth Galbraith

1.  Rick Perry keeps on providing evidence as to why he should not be running for president:,0,5387941,print.story

2.  In addition to Wall Street, the corrupting influence of money has given the holders of wealth a pass on facing justice when fairness in our judicial system is the issue:

3.  A lesson on Economics.  It is the consumer, with cash in hand buying things that the catalyst that energizes manufacturing.   The investor who wants to make money will direct resources that make the products that consumers buy.   So, who are the job creators?:

4.  Might as well include insights on the Steve Jobs Mystique while his passing is still in vogue.  Well, at least he is high up enough to remove Michael Jackson from media center stage - except that the dour expression of Dr. Murray is doing its best to keep it going:

5.  One for the Thomas Friedman fans. This one is over his second cup of coffee and scone:

6.  Here's another opinion on what the OWS movement is about, where it is going, and what it must do to achieve.  I am amused at all the speculation heaped on this subject.  I frankly am totally accepting that the movement stay just as it is  - a constant thorn in the side for a long time to come - for however long it is necessary.  I remember when all the establishment media kept on asking Bob Dylan what the messages in his song were all about, as if it were a big deal, and that we all needed to know.  This is all the same to me.  I think the poetic justice and fairness will come to pass when those who finally fess up to the fact that they are the 1% begin to be aware that they are being held accountable, and that they should act first before they are acted upon.  In the meantime, we should engage in discussions of justice and fairness, and what it means in the United States of America:
Juan Matute

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Things to Know - 25 October


1.  Thom Hartman is an easy way to start the day:

2.  Alabama continues the Southern way of life - where intolerance and ignorance are an enduring tradition:

3.  Richard Cohen of the WashPost lays bare a nasty try from the Conservative Right that suggests that the OWS folks are really Anti-Semites:

4.  The inability of the Democrats to rally to the cause and drive forward is is only exceeded by the ineptitude of the Gee Opie in figuring our what they are doing:,0,3026312,print.story

5.  David Brooks is back and trying to sound like he knows what is going on.   Does anyone know what is going on?

6.  A nuts-and-bolts opinion on fixing the nuts-and-bolts mess of home mortgage messes:

7.  A soft approach to control the OWS by the mayor of NY city.   Let's see where this goes:

8.  Los Angeles has a great display of street art, mostly from Hispanic contributors.  It is not exactly graffiti, and not exactly LACMA (but maybe in the future).  It is an expression from the street to the world community:,0,7553931,full.story

9. Now, I gotta go lay down in an expensive mechanical tube while an MRI tries to find the problem that is making my sciatic nerve mess up my joys of retirement.

Surprise Ending

Juan Matute

"Marriage: A friendship recognized by the police."
       -- Robert Louis Stevenson
"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius."
       -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
"Very little is known of the Canadian country since it is rarely visited by anyone but the Queen and illiterate sport fishermen."
       -- P. J. O'Rourke
"Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them."
       -- Samuel Butler
"Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them."
       -- Paul Valery

Monday, October 24, 2011

Things to Know - 24 October

1.  This column from the WashPost goes to the heart of the OWS frustration that it has in common with the Tea Party.  It is stuff like this that is beginning to scare the bejezzus out of the financial backers of the tea baggers.  Can you imagine a merger of frustrations into one movement?  I have received a few email missiles from the Tea Party to ignore and stay away from the OWS stuff.  This is either an interesting side show as we move forward, or a coming main attraction:

2.  This contribution pretty much settles the issue with the Gee Opie candidates rush to destroy any illegal crossings of the border - from electric fences that "can kill you" to predator drones firing missiles upon them.  The irony is that pundit buzz suggests that Marco Rubio will be right up there on their "A" list as a VP running mate - with hopes of securing the Hispanic vote.  Go figure how they think:

3.  The Neo-Cons, the sponsors and the cheerleaders for the MIC (military-industrial complex), and any and all wars (the more the better), are in a real tizzy after Obama has announced the drawdown of troop from Iraq:

4.  Take a trip down the dark road of the crappy things we do in the name of "war on terror", and even in the face of contrary information, we trudge on trudge on in the big muddy with absolutely no clue about how wrong we are:

5.  Citi Bank, just another shabby example of a corrupt financial institution.  Matt Taibbi makes a good living writing great stories about these fleecing felons.  Here's another example of how they get off easy by having friends in the SEC, who used to work with the Wall Street Cartels:

6.  While we piss and moan about the Republicans doing nothing to advance anything remotely helpful, and rebuffing any attempts to jump-start the economy.  While the Gee Opeeers instead talk about preventing birth control and a woman's right, and suppressing the vote - the WORLD is soon going to be SEVEN BILLION in population.  A lot of them will want to eat food, and if the Republicants can agree to it - maybe most of them.  Those people will want to drive cars, burn gasoline, and have a life.  So what are we doing - watching a stupid show of how Mitch, Boenhead, and Can't are just stalling progress to a 1-term Obama:

7.  E.J.  (we are on familiar terms now), packages up all the Gee Opie poop into one plastic bag:

8.  Steve Lopez checks into a local government loan to float a business that smells like a rotten fish.  Looks like the city of Angels folks are going to have to cook up a good one for explaining support for this restaurant:,0,2003017,print.column

Juan Matute

"You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy
       -- George W. Bush
"Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities."
       -- Aldous Huxley
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
       -- Albert Einstein
"I can't understand it. I can't even understand the people who can understand it."
       -- Queen Juliana
"Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages."
       -- H. L. Mencken