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

Friday, October 21, 2011

Things to Know - 22 October

1.  Remember Reagan carping about food stamp welfare queens, and all of the other stories of welfare cheats.  Yes, they may be all true.  However, the big cheats are the corporate kind working through the Pentagon, Big Pharma through Medicare.   Here's a peek at the Pentagon system:

2.  Thom Hartman provides his news articles in an easy video and text format:

3.  Charles Blow, one of those  pundits who previously sneered about the OWS, has now admitted that for whatever the goals are, it is now COOL:

4.  Dick Cavett on his conversations with Steve Jobs 20 years ago, when working up to TV commercials for Apple:

5.  A nice harmless column from Kathleen Parker on the Gee Opie candidate's debate.  Only reason she is here today is that I need to include something from the Washington Post:

6.  A great human interest story about a family of high-achievers coming out of Pasadena, and against all odds:,0,6222434,print.column

7.  All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena (same city) has skirted trouble with the IRS because of an LA Times story 7 years ago.  The pastor has retired now, and is still pushing an agenda of not endorsing candidates, but holding them up to serious questions and analysis from the pulpit:,0,5088956,print.column

Juan Matute

"The cure for writer's cramp is writer's block."
       -- Inigo DeLeon
"Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that no one has asked them."
       -- Leo Tolstoy
"It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this."
       -- Bertrand Russell
"Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons."
       -- unknown

Things to Know - 21 October


1.  Is the American Dream over?  Data suggests that poverty is on the increase everywhere.  The middle class is shrinking:

2.  National Security and Defense is eating up all of budget, and is showing signs of getting more money.  Is it any wonder that providing for the general welfare and domestic tranquility for the needs of our communities is inferior to what we had before?  The bloated priorities of corporations to keep feeding the MIC (military-industrial complex) is destroying us.  This is what I protest as I occupy the seat from which I send out this "stuff to know":

3.  Here is a link to a very cool and informative resource for getting much of the daily news that the main-stream media does not always cover:

4.  Meanwhile, The Amish life goes on.  They hit the news when something happens in their community......and then they blend back into the fields of Lancaster when it is over.  Kaddafi is not know there:

5.  Paul Krugman points out that the Gee Opie plan to trash regulations and let the energy industry run wild in drilling on the promise that it will create jobs is ....well , dumb, and harmful:

6.  Timothy Egan does a great job in framing the issue of immigration and the disconnect our Gee Opie, and Donkeycrats have over it:

7.  You get a double-whammy today.  Another editorial on the bad stuff that the Republicants are trying to do with our environement:,0,4464566,print.story

8.  You have all heard about "cap and trade". The Gee Opie is dead against it (naturally), and they fear monger it to people.  Well, California just adopted the legislation yesterday and here is a nice column that explains what it is all about and how it is going to work, and how the rest of the nation will eventually follow suit:,0,4780746,print.story

Juan Matute

"The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave man...only five hundred."
       -- Meredith Willson
"I have nothing to say, and I am saying it, and that is poetry."
       -- John Cage
"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function."
       -- F. Scott Fitzgerald
"I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter."
       -- Sir Winston Churchill
"If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow."
       -- George W. Bush

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Things to Know - 20 October


1.  As it is becoming clear, Herman Cain is not ready for prime time.  As Ms. Bachmann before him, he should learn to keep his trap shut instead of winging it:,0,544074,print.story

2.  This reminds us to be mindful on how we approach our understanding with the community in "fighting" terrorism:,0,5577612,print.story

3.  Pat Robertson, our resident Kookie, has done it again:

4.  Bill Cosby....Keynote Speech at Carnegie Mellon four years ago.   Hope you are enjoying no OWS stuff for the time being:

5.  Okay..back to business.  Here's George Lakoff putting OWS into context:

6.  You've read some of my rants on Big Money & Big Football.  Here's a story in the LA Times about Pomona College (actually Pomona-Pitzer), and their football program.  This is what college football is like at Division III, and maybe the big schools should take it to heart:,0,6408729,print.column

7.  This state of California action is either a flash in the pan, or maybe the beginning of holding the financial institutions liable for their alleged criminal actions:,0,3052749,print.story

8.  You can tell that the OWS movement is getting the acknowledgement and respect that is striving for when the politicians are backing off of previous stated disses and/or speaking to the populist appeal:,0,387519,print.column

Juan Matute

"The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave man...only five hundred."
       -- Meredith Willson
"I have nothing to say, and I am saying it, and that is poetry."
       -- John Cage
"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function."
       -- F. Scott Fitzgerald
"I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter."
       -- Sir Winston Churchill
"If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow."
       -- George W. Bush

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Things to Know - 18 October

 Mike Luckovich cartoon: A new monument


1.  Instead of writing Herman Cain off as the flavor of the month, or brief flash in the pan, his status does have to be treated seriously with due diligence by the media.  In that regard, his foray into the Sunday talk media shows demonstrates that he really does not have it.  Close scrutiny reveals his flaws and his tendency to take simple views and stands and the bad part is that he thinks that is all that is necessary:

2.  While all the hubbub is going on about who is now the Gee Opie's front runner, the basic thrust of evangelical dogma still is entrenched in entrenched right, which loses sight of reason:

3.  Robert Redford, speaks to Obamam through you, to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.  It also educates you what it is, were it is going, and what it is going to do:

4.  Alabama is now contending with the unintended effects of their xenophobic legislation.   We could also wonder about the effects on their agriculture - probably about the same as in Georgia:,0,4475014,print.story

5.  What is really nice about this story is that if more (all?) people who would come into wealth would grant much of it back to the community, then we would not be having these "class war" problems and schools going broke.  On the other hand, then we would have the problem of uneven distribution and we would have great universities, but no support of the health clinic in the intercity (maybe).  So, all  you Libertarians can now praise the system of charity and claim that it all works....but it really does not:,0,3303298,print.story

6.  This column by Anne Applebaum of the Washington Post makes some valid arguments, but some false conclusions.  Read it and see where she is right, and where she may be wrong, or missing the point:

Juan Matute

"Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
       -- Mark Twain
"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world."
       -- John le Carre
"Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace."
       -- Oscar Wilde
"Love is not blind - it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less."
       -- Rabbi Julius Gordon
"I have too much respect for the idea of God to make it responsible for such an absurd world."
       -- Georges Duhamel

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fwd: Things to Know - 17October

1.  I was advised that something I sent out yesterday referenced a previous link.  Here is the correct Eugene Robinson report on Herman Cain:

2.  Continuing on with the Hermanator, here is an Associated Press story that might suggest that he is covertly employed as a shill for destructive purposes by the Koch Brothers.  The Gee Opie Telenovela:

3.  This is a link to a video interview between Don Imus and Matt Taibbi -subject; the occupiers of Wall Street:

4.  The title of this link is "Republican Hicks and Holy Rollers".  Is that a teaser enough to get you to read this?:

5.  Robert Reich on the pitfall of pulling the plug on long-term health insurance coverage

6.  The NY TImes comes out in favor of the cause that Elizabeth Warren is fighting for:

7.  Paul Krugman writes about how the poor folks on Wall Street are starting to complain about being picked on:

8.  Big Time Football is Big Money.  We all know that.  However, just as the money has crept into our political elections and elected representatives, it has managed to corrupt the sport.   When you get to Division One college sports, it really is sad.  Of course, not all levels of the NCAA are messed up.  I enjoy watching a good Division Three college game, like Pomona.  The phrase heard around campus is --- " there are places where they have student athletes......... at Pomona, we have students".  The games and their intensity are just fine with me:,0,1950122,print.story

Juan Matute

"Not even computers will replace committees, because committees buy computers."
       -- Edward Shepherd Mead
"A person who trusts no one can't be trusted."
       -- Jerome Blattner
"Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth!"
       -- Henry David Thoreau
"You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun."
       -- Al Capone
"Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely."
       -- P.J. O'Rourke

Friday, October 14, 2011

Things to Know - 14 October

1.  We'll start with the new graphic artist in town (not bad). He's Economist Robert - and that's the truth:

Editions may be kind of lean for then next few days.
It does not take much time to actually build this daily digest,
but it does take time (reading and deciding what to send).
There is a wedding this weekend, and I may be too busy.

2.  Cold pizza and other stale party food from the Gee Opie:


Mike Luckovich cartoon: On a different street


Juan Matute

"I'm a godmother, that's a great thing to be, a godmother. She calls me god for short, that's cute, I taught her that."
       -- Ellen DeGeneres
"We learn something every day, and lots of times it's that what we learned the day before was wrong."
       -- Bill Vaughan
"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see."
       -- Arthur Schopenhauer
"Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps."
       -- Emo Phillips

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Things to Know - 11 October (the real thing)

1.  Here's an interesting contribution.  E.J. Dionne writes about George Will's column about Elizabeth Warren (in a past edition sent from here):

2.  This contribution from Ketchup (yes, that is her name) is basically a report on what is going on with all these people huddled around in Zuccotti Park.  Conversations, topics of definition of purpose, strategy and tactics, validation of effort, etc.....  The people looking down from on high really have no idea, and they are concerned because it is unlike any protest they have ever heard or seen before, but they know that they are somehow the focus, or what they do is the focus, or something like that:

3.  Robert Reich, always a straight-shooter, and mostly right, gives us a lesson in history, and puts the context of the Wall Street movement in perspective with the current political establishment, and where things may or may not go.  The main point is that it appears that something serious is happening, and we should pay attention and follow the money:

4.  It was at this point in the draft that I hit the send instead of the save key.  Lesson learned - pay attention

5.  David Brooks, smart guy and all, but he's missing the point.  My reply to him is that he seems to think that the solution to what ails is is supposed to come from the protesters.  It just may be that the protest is all about the wealth of a small elite group of plutocrats corrupting and hi-jacking the U.S. Constitution for their sole benefit, and more and more people are on to their game now.  No, the change will come from those who have been marginalized, and it will be done in ways that have never been tried before.  Stuff like this "milquetoast-radicals" will only embolden the resolve:

6.  In the middle of all the distractions in protests movements in cities across the land, and GOP presidential candidates assassinating each other etc, we still have the business of the people supposedly going on in Congress.  Here is one effort to move something past the Republicants:

7.  Elizabeth Warren is doing very well raising money in her run for the Senate.  Yes, the financial folks should be afraid.  And yes, they will overtly and mostly covertly raise a ton of money to defeat her.  Her vibrant candidacy brightens the American landscape:,0,4572687,print.story

6.  Sandy Banks of the LA Times reminds us that there is more to life than tea baggers, protesters, Euro-Zone, and no NBA games:,0,6231625,print.column

Juan Matute

"In 26 years in the pros I haven't noticed many changes. The players are faster, bigger, smarter and more disloyal to their owners. That's about it."
       -- George Blanda
"Last year I went fishing with Salvador Dali. He was using a dotted line. He caught every other fish."
       -- Steven Wright
"A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold."
       -- Ogden Nash
"Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless."
       -- Sinclair Lewis
"Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees."
       -- David Letterman

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fwd: Things to Know -

From J5 at 10PM

Disregard the missent edition for 11 October.  It will be superseded by a later one.

Juan Matute

"No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets."
       -- Edward Abbey
"Imitation is the sincerest form of television."
       -- Fred Allen
"If it weren't for my lawyer, I'd still be in prison. It went a lot faster with two people digging."
       -- Joe Martin
"After all is said and done, a lot more will be said than done."
      --  Anonymous

Things to Know - 11October

Note: J5 has started sending out his Things To Know ("I Juant You To Know") columns the day before now.

1.  Here's an interesting contribution.  E.J. Dionne writes about George Will's column about Elizabeth Warren (in a past edition sent from here):

2.  This contribution from Ketchup (yes, that is her name) is basically a report on what is going on with all these people huddled around in Zuccotti Park.  Conversations, topics of definition of purpose, strategy and tactics, validation of effort, etc.....  The people looking down from on high really have no idea, and they are concerned because it is unlike any protest they have ever heard or seen before, but they know that they are somehow the focus, or what they do is the focus, or something like that:

3.  Robert Reich, always a straight-shooter, and mostly right, gives us a lesson in history, and puts the context of the Wall Street movement in perspective with the current political establishment, and where things may or may not go.  The main point is that it appears that something serious is happening, and we should pay attention and follow the money:

Juan Matute

"No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets."
       -- Edward Abbey
"Imitation is the sincerest form of television."
       -- Fred Allen
"If it weren't for my lawyer, I'd still be in prison. It went a lot faster with two people digging."
       -- Joe Martin
"After all is said and done, a lot more will be said than done."
      --  Anonymous

Things to Know - 10 October

1. Back to the Wall Street Movement.   This is an interesting article which now charts the effects of the protest on a financial institutions that sees itself as an object of the protest and what it is telling its employees on how to react if confronted.  It's not the publication of the handbook that is of interest.  It is the fact that the an institution acknowledges that it is an unwitting culprit:

2.  You can now consider Paul Krugman part of the unwashed dirty hippies near Wall Street.  He's throwing the BS back by at the confused politicos who have absolutely no relevance in their remarks to the grievances:

3.  Bill Keller's great op-ed piece on the Tea Party's confusion and the confusion it is creating for the GOP and as Rick Perry goes, so goes the tea baggers:

4,  Here is an example of a prominent Washington Post op-ed contributor who just does not get it all, jut a part of "it".  He bemoans that the wealthy get the attention on the inequality of income, and attract attention when taxes are an issue, plus a bunch of other related stuff,  However, what he and many others like him to not speak to is what the wealthy do, or not do with all their money.  Corporations are sitting on pile of cash and just wait for the air  to smell right before they invest - we know about that.  What is not talked about is that the very few wealthy channel millions and billions, through very covert and secret connections to buy legislators at all levels to create the laws and regulations that tilt any hope of a level in their favor.  They have been doing this forever, and that is the problem that is ripping this country to destruction.  The wealthy co-opt any political group or movement that opposes progressive government, and steers legislators, regulations, and political campaigns to results that benefit the wealthy, and the corporations.  Three wealthy guys can bury the opposition with tons of money, and do it secretly:

5.  Herman Cain, may deliver pizza on time, but he's got a lot to learn.  His wading in on the occupiers makes him the lightening rod for criticism and as the movement grows (propelled by stuff that oozes from his mouth), he is going to back himself into the corner, marginalizing him, and then the GOP may find him too hot to handle.  It is going to be an amusing side show.  Newt called it a demonstration of the poor subjects that students are taking in school.  Newt and Herm deserve each other:,0,7549411,print.story

6.  In 1887, our family moved to Georgia, and away from this butane tank farm (about a mile away).  It is at the corner of Gaffey and Westmont.  A huge tank farm of butane gas.  One natural disaster or a nut with an RPG can take out the residential community and school nearby, plus blow out windows and doors for miles:,0,572684,print.story

7.  Close it out today with an LA Times editorial on the GOP's refusal to recognize the reason for EPA regulations and their dedicated zeal to support the corporate aims to cut back on anything that thwarts the corporate ability to maximize profits:,0,1099289,print.story

-- Juan Matute

"No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets."
       -- Edward Abbey
"Imitation is the sincerest form of television."
       -- Fred Allen
"If it weren't for my lawyer, I'd still be in prison. It went a lot faster with two people digging."
       -- Joe Martin
"After all is said and done, a lot more will be said than done."
      --  Anonymous

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Side note by Sirinya

I'd just like to point out that J5 changes the quotes in his email signature every day. Presumably by hand.

Something to Remember

From Sam Benson - this one knows no time frame.  Dedicated to all the "dirty hippies with nothing better to do than to bitch and complain":


Juan Matute

"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators."
       -- P. J. O'Rourke
"My father hated radio and could not wait for television to be invented so he could hate that too."
       -- Peter De Vries
"Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right."
       -- Isaac Asimov
"It is not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that."
       -- G. H. Hardy

Good and Bad News

Dated March 8

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Juan Matute
Date: Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 10:37 AM
Subject: Good and Bad News
To: Michael Matute, Sirinya Tritipeskul, Raul Matute <>, "Dr.Maria Eugenia Matute-Bianchi", Lynne Matute

First the Bad News -
This is an ecological tragedy.  Hopefully it was not a man-made environmental screw up.

The Good News -
Really, really cheap sea food dinners are available at Captain Kids.  But, you gotta hurry before the merchandise spoils.

Millions of dead fish at King Harbor in Redondo Beach

March 8, 2011 | 10:11 am
Authorities in Redondo Beach are investigating what killed millions of fish over the last day at King Harbor Marina.
Fish, including anchovies, sardines and mackerel were floating lifeless in Basins 1 and 2 of the north side of King Harbor Marina.
"There's basically fish everywhere you go in the harbor," said the harbor's assistant manager, Jason McMullin, who added that there were reports that a red tide may have driven the fish into the harbor in massive numbers where they died because of limited oxygen.
Redondo Beach public works officials were dispatched to the harbor to investigate further but did not have immediate comment.
The fish were attracting huge flocks of seagulls and other birds.
-- Andrew Blankstein

Juan Matute

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
  - Thomas Jefferson
The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful. And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.
  - John Cage
We don't know what we want, but we are ready to bite somebody to get it.
  - Will Rogers

Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.
  - Erma Bombeck

Friday, October 7, 2011

Things to Know - 7 October

 Mike Luckovich cartoon: Face it, baby


1.  Georgia's anti-immigration law, recently imposed, has resulted in labor shortages in the agricultural fields.  So, the Govner is trying to set up an arrangement where prisoners will work the fields.  As I read the details, I see nothing but problems coming out of this.  There will be more problems because of a xenophobic drive that started this whole thing off in the first place.  Georgia - on my mind:

2.  More on the who and legacy of Steve Jobs:

3.  We end the Jobs eulogizing with the realization that his inventions, designs, and brutal perfection were indeed the work of genius.  However, there was a downside in the actual replication of the product to market that is of concern and is the next product refinement that is required for the industry:

4.  Paul Krugman adds insight and support to the occupiers by giving the protest (movement?) kudos for at least framing the message is embedded.  He legitimizes their efforts and disparages those financial elites on high who sneer at the rabble as they look downward over the rims of their champagne glasses:

5.  The spectacle of "Wall Street Occupiers" is now being noticed by the media.  Those pundits who scoff only add to the determination. The eyes and ears of those of the Arab Spring, Tahir Square, and Tunisia are looking at us and asking what is wrong with us and where is this going.  Is it safe to say that who goes around - comes around?

6.  From "a bunch of dirty hippies", the spectacle in short order is has taken on a more respectable view by observers.  The whole world is watching now:

7.  Want some relief?  You don't get any.  Robert Reich is here to tell you that if Greece tanks, the US is going to tank.  Why and how you may ask?  Just read about it, then ask yourself, who is going to be asked to bail out Wall Street again:

8.  The state of Georgia is now getting itself stuck up in the idiotic e-verify mess of their immigration law and businesses are faced with delays, costs, and confusion:


Juan Matute

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."
       -- Steve Jobs
"There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past."
       -- George Carlin
"Education is a state-controlled manufactory of echoes."
       -- Norman Douglas
"It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled sea of thought."
       -- John Kenneth Galbraith
"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."
       -- George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Things to Know - 5 October

10/5 Mike Luckovich cartoon: Waiting in pumpkin patch


1.  The Occupy Wall Street effort, by this writer, needs to also bring attention to K Street in Washington D.C. to really bring effective change.  He is probably right.  Karl Rove and his handful of billionaires (money from Wall Street) are talking of putting up $240 BILLION to defeat Obama in the next election.  The K Street Lobby has the bucks to do it.  Read on:

2.  A Manifesto for the Wall Street Occupation.  It seems that as each day and week passes, clarity of purpose takes traction.  The real test is when the weather starts getting very cold, damp, snowy, and then freezing.  If the protesters truly have no place to go, and are are dedicated to their civil disobedience (which heretofore has been quite civil), then the action will become a movement, not just an inconvenience for those walking to work on Wall Street:

3.  Medicare and Fraud.  Opponents of Obamacare or any reform would like for us to think that our current medical institutions are the best in the world and the free market will sort everything out.  Read this, and see how an unregulated or criminal element exists in whatever form of health care we have to work with.  The Greed on Wall Street is no different than the Greed by Big Pharma.  The only difference is that one group plays with other people's money in their private schemes, but socializes their losses.   The other group illegally socializes the use of chemicals in the Medicare patient's blood streams and privatizes any financial gains to their own coffers, unless the whistle get blown.  Do I hear a toot, toot?:

4.  Paul Krugman has a quick show-and-tell about taxes on the rich and middle class:

5.  Thomas Friedman explains what Christie's departure means to the GOP campaign, and how it changes Obama's center of re-election strategy:

6.  Maureen Dowd, following up on Friedman's subject, paint a more entertaining picture (enlarged to fit the subject matter):

7.  This is a nice story to end it for this edition.  It's going out early this time - so you folks on EST have it for breakfast, and my buddy in Albany might be in shock if he reads it before he goes to bed tonight.  I plan to sleep in and enjoy a full day of rain in Claremont:,0,5246273,print.story

Juan Matute

"The meek shall inherit the Earth, but not its mineral rights."
       -- J. Paul Getty
"A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward."
       -- Franklin D. Roosevelt
"Indecision may or may not be my problem."
       -- Jimmy Buffett
"The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within this prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness."
       -- Andre Malraux
"The surprising thing about young fools is how many survive to become old fools."
       -- Doug Larson

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Things to Know - 4 October

10/4 Mike Luckovich cartoon: Wall Street protests


1.  David Brooks.  It's kind of a sad situation when Romney is picked as the best choice for the Republicants.  Speaks volumes of the weak field:

2.  Another pundit for Romney.  I guess its all done now:

3.  Bill McKibben points out that Dick Cheney is not the only one who got his gooey hands on underhanded lobbying for the oil industry.  The Obama administration is doing the same stuff.  One of the perks of living in a college town is public events feature nationally known speakers.  Bill McKibben is speaking at Big Bridges at Pomona College on 27 October at 7:00pm.   Tickets are free.  I got mine today:

4.  Back to the GOP field.  Even when Christie says he's not running, there are people who want to make sure he stays there.  Now the issue of his lack of being nice - or too Joisey - is an issue:

5.  The only person who thinks Newt Gingrich is still in the game is .......yes - Newt.

6.  The memories we have of teachers we had in our growing up days.  Here is a good story that makes one really appreciate what teaching is and how the passion if the craft inspires students.  It brings to the front what teaching is all about:,0,1639508,print.column

Juan Matute

"I think it's always a good move to listen to that inner voice, if it doesn't lead to a crime."
       -- Lisa Kudrow
"The road to hell is paved with adverbs."
       -- Stephen King
"Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city."
       -- George Burns
"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
       -- Mark Twain

Monday, October 3, 2011

Things to Know 3 October


1.  Bill Keller, the former editor of the NY Times, urges caution on the expectations of what Stanford University is undertaking in on-line education.  Yes, there are opportunities to open up the field of learning to a wider audience, at lower cost, but there are problems that challenge the essence of education and the way it is taught and received:

2.  Paul Krugman offers you an opportunity to learn about what China's devalued currency is doing to our economy.  He goes on to opine on legislation pending in Congress that aims to tackle that problem, and the pros and cons of what it might do.  If you feel up to it, and want to talk smart about something most people do not understand, or care to understand, have at at:

3.  Opening up the arguments presented before the Supreme Court of the United States to live video coverage (that's TV cameras), is a great idea, no matter who is talking about it:

4.  Rick Perry is not having a good run.  Whenever he utters some tough Texas talk out of his corset-strangled torso, he inevitably finds his boots stuck in cow pie, and he spends most of his time on defense:

5.  Grafting a cutting from New York, Los Angeles has begun its own version of Occupying.  Let's see where this goes:,0,4064468,print.story

6.  The state of California is responding to its over-crowded state prisons by funneling some of the lower security risks to local county facilities.  In Los Angeles County, the LA Times, doing its journalistic duty, has found and is exposing the dark side of Sheriff Lee Baca's kingdom.  Reports of inmate abuse were were the cause for the FBI bribing an LA County Sheriff jailer to smuggle a cellphone to an inmate to report on real-time evidence.   This sparked a pissing contest between the Sheriff and the FBI.  Further investigation reveals that there is actually a gang of Sheriff jailers, who belong to a to gang inside the jail (with tattoos and all the trappings), who gang up on the gangs - resulting in stuff that is not so good for either side.   Now, Baca, admits that his employees are part of the problem of smuggling drugs into the inmates for money.  Yes, if this seems just like the problem that is going outside the walls, you kind of wonder what is wrong with our Department of Corrections (not the local Peachtree City ladies auxiliary):,0,4331079,print.column

7.  Two car companies that the Federal Government went in, bailed out, and propped up, under huge criticism of socialism, are now doing quite well and providing jobs.   My only complaint is that their profit margins are made positive by big trucks and SUVs -  so I guess there is a trade off; a compromise:

8.  The some GOP groups aim to win elections in 2012 by......suppressing the ability to register and to vote, while religious fundamentalists are campaigning to organize and register their extremists flock.  This brew does not bode well.  What can be done to counteract these moves?;  it's your call and your move:

Juan Matute

"I think it's always a good move to listen to that inner voice, if it doesn't lead to a crime."
       -- Lisa Kudrow
"The road to hell is paved with adverbs."
       -- Stephen King
"Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city."
       -- George Burns
"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
       -- Mark Twain