Daily Archive: 03/11/2011

Mar 11 2011

from firefly-dreaming 11.3.11

Regular Daily Features:

Late Night Karaoke has Big Audio Dynamite, mishima DJs

Gha!

Six Brilliant Articles! from Six Different Places!! on Six Different Topics!!!

                Six Days a Week!!!    at Six in the Morning!!!!

Essays Featured Friday, March 11th:

In Friday Open Thoughts slksfca takes us to see Philip IV, Live And In Person!

This episode of Get Growing from RiaD is Seed Starting

patric juillet‘s Tales From the Larder continues with Remembrances of a Distant Past

join the conversation! come firefly-dreaming with me….

Mar 11 2011

Still a “Fierce Advocate”

I could say, “When you’ve lost Scarecrow…” but I haven’t particularly noted him as a proud Obamabot unlike some I could name.  Still, I thought this piece worthy of your notice.  That clunking sound you hear is Cenk Uygur’s jaw hitting the floor.

Sherrod Brown on Cenk: President Obama Has a Loud Microphone

By: Scarecrow, Thursday March 10, 2011 5:27 pm

Expecting the same Obama who sold out on tax cuts for the rich, the Public Option, Gitmo, torture investigations/prosecutions, and coddling TBTF banksters, etc, to rein in the Tea-GOP is, uh, not reassuring.

In just the last three months, Obama undercut Schumer on limiting the tax breaks to those over a million in income. He undercut Schumer again today by making sure that when the White House’s corporate staff sits at the table with the crazies who would destroy the economy and 70 years of progressive governance, the Tea-GOP will not even be asked to consider raising revenues, let alone taking back the recent gift tax breaks for scofflaw corporations or wealthy Americans.



There are simply too many White House betrayals, broken promises, secret deals, dashed hopes, disingenuous dodges, stupid blunders (or were they deliberate?), insults to supporters and every element of the Democratic coalition, including America’s working class, to list here. FDL writes about them every day.

So is Senator Brown honestly expecting this President to lead us? Not a chance. Only Pod People still think America’s working class has a President on their side.

Mar 11 2011

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”

Robert Reich: Governor Walker’s Coup D’Etat

Governor Scott Walker and his Wisconsin senate Republicans have laid bare the motives for their coup d’etat. By severing the financial part of the bill (which couldn’t be passed without absent Democrats) from the part eliminating the collective bargaining rights of public employees (which could be), and then doing the latter, Wisconsin Republicans have made it crystal clear that their goal has had nothing whatever to do with the state budget. It’s been to bust the unions.

That’s no surprise to most people who have watched this conflict from the start, but like any coup its ultimate outcome will depend on the public. If most citizens of Wisconsin are now convinced that Walker and his cohorts are extremists willing to go to any lengths for their big-business patrons (including the billionaire Koch brothers), those citizens will recall enough Republican senators to right this wrong.

Eugene Robinson: Peter King’s Modern-Day Witch Hunt

“There is nothing radical or un-American in holding these hearings,” Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) claimed Thursday as he launched his McCarthyite probe of American Muslims. He could not have been more wrong. If King is looking for threats to our freedoms and values, a mirror would be the place to start.

Here’s why. Imagine a young man, a Muslim, who changes in troubling ways. His two best friends become concerned, then alarmed, as the young man abandons Western dress, displays a newfound religiosity and begins to echo jihadist rhetoric about the decadence of American society. Both friends suspect that the young man has become radicalized and might even attempt some kind of terrorist attack.

One friend is Muslim, the other Christian. Does the Muslim friend have a greater responsibility than the Christian to contact the authorities? By the logic of King’s witch hunt, he does.

Glenn Greenwald: The “Bush-Tortured” Excuse for Indefinite Detention

Earlier this week, I wrote about the fictitious excuse being offered to justify why Obama is continuing the indefinite detentions and military commissions which defined the Bush/Cheney Guantanamo detention scheme:  it’s Congress’ fault.  Today we have a new excuse:  it’s Bush’s fault.  Because Bush tortured some of the detainees, this reasoning goes, Obama is incapable of prosecuting them, yet because many of those detainees are Terrorists and/or Too Dangerous to Release (even though they can’t be convicted of anything), he has no real choice but to keep imprisoning them without charges.  Here are the NYT Editors — even as they criticize Obama’s indefinite detention policy — making this case, one frequently heard from Obama supporters offering excuses for his policy of indefinite detention:

   [T]he Obama administration has still chosen to accept the concept of indefinite detention without trial, which represents a stain on American justice. The president made that acceptance clear in a speech in May 2009. To some degree, he was forced into it by the Bush administration’s legacy of torture and abuse, which made some important cases impossible to prosecute.

snip

There’s a serious moral flaw in the NYT‘s reasoning, and two even worse empirical flaws with this excuse-making for indefinite detention.   There are several compelling reasons why the use of torture-obtained evidence is barred by every civilized country for use in prosecution, and has been barred for decades if not centuries.  A primary reason is because the most basic norms of Western morality demand that torture not be rewarded, which is what happens when the fruits of it are admissible in court to prosecute people.  Those who say that Obama is justified in imprisoning people without charges because the evidence against them was obtained via torture and is thus unusable in court are repudiating this long-standing Western moral principle by justifying imprisonment based on evidence obtained by coercion (we know they’re guilty because of the evidence we got from torture, so we have to detain them).

Mar 11 2011

WWL Radio #101 Postcard From the Class War


Friday, March 11th at 6pm EST!

Listen live by clicking the link icon below:

Listen to The Wild Wild Left on internet talk radio

The call in number is 646-929-1264 to join the conversation!

The live chat link will go live around 5:45.. found at the bottom of the show page when you listen, or by clicking the link below. Chat will be monitored for comments and questions by the host.

CHAT LINK

Tip: In order to comment in chat, you must create a BTR account, its free and only takes seconds.

Miss the show? The podcasts are available at the link above, or at the Wild Wild Left


PhotobucketTHIS MEANS WAR!!!!

We’ve been predicting this for years. Maybe not so much as prophesy, but in direct observation of how the Class War has unfolded incrementally.

There is a full frontal attack directly against American Workers going on, finally blatant enough that even the most sheepish have become enraged as 30 states introduce legislation trying to Union Bust and redirect resources from the elderly, the students, the poor and the working class directly into the hands of Big Business.

People are hitting the streets, rising up, calling for General Strikes…. how long, I wonder before the next wave of awareness hits and our citizens realize that neither Republicans nor their Democratic counterparts truly represent us anymore?

It is time, my friends, for a Worker’s Party to rise from the ashes they have made of our lives and take over.

I am now jaded enough to see the tragedies unfolding from Japan’s horrific earthquake and the tsunamis yet to come as of this writing as something that the Elites will use immediately to manipulate the market and increase their Wealth even more. They undoubtedly will scream “Financial Crisis” and use it to strip us of even more rights and assets. Remember where you heard that first, and do NOT believe them!

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This is a time of hope and wonder… as I told my son last night, “Those people out there in the streets are the salvation of your future!”

Viva la revolucion!

There is much to discuss, join me tonight – Call in!

It is a VERY good day indeed to be the Voice of the Real Left.

Join Wild Wild Left Radio every Friday at 6pm EST, via Blog Talk Radio, with Hostess and Producer Diane Gee to guide you through Current Events taken from a Wildly Left Prospective….  her Joplinesque voice speaking straight from the heart about the real-life implications of the Political and the Class War on everyday American Citizens like you.

Controversy? We face it. Cutting Edge? We step over it. Revolutions start with information, and The Wild Wild Left Radio brings you the best in information and op/eds from a position that others on the Left fear to tread…. all with a grain shaker of irreverent humor.



WWL Radio: Bringing you “out there where the buses don’t run” LEFT perspective with interviews, op/eds and straight talk since January of 2009!


Mar 11 2011

On This Day in History March 11

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

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

March 11 is the 70th day of the year (71st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 295 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1851, The first performance of Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi takes place in Venice.

Rigoletto is an opera in three acts  with the Italian libretto written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s’amuse by Victor Hugo. It is considered by many to be the first of the operatic masterpieces of Verdi’s middle-to-late career.

Composition history

Verdi was commissioned to write a new opera by the La Fenice opera house in Venice in 1850, at a time when he was already a well-known composer with a degree of freedom in choosing the works he would prefer to set to music. He then asked Piave (with whom he had already created Ernani, I due Foscari, Macbeth, Il Corsaro and Stiffelio) to examine the play Kean by Alexandre Dumas, père, but he felt he needed a more energetic subject to work on.

Verdi soon stumbled upon Victor Hugo’s Le roi s’amuse. He later explained that “It contains extremely powerful positions … The subject is great, immense, and has a character that is one of the most important creations of the theatre of all countries and all Ages”. It was a highly controversial subject and Hugo himself had already had trouble with censorship in France, which had banned productions of his play after its first performance nearly twenty years earlier (and would continue to ban it for another thirty years). As Austria at that time directly controlled much of Northern Italy, it came before the Austrian Board of Censors. Hugo’s play depicted a king (Francis I of France) as an immoral and cynical womanizer, something that was not accepted in Europe during the Restoration period.

From the beginning, Verdi was aware of the risks, as was Piave. In a letter which Verdi wrote to Piave: “Use four legs, run through the town and find me an influential person who can obtain the permission for making Le Roi s’amuse.” Correspondence between a prudent Piave and an already committed Verdi followed, and the two remained at risk and underestimated the power and the intentions of Austrians. Even the friendly Guglielmo Brenna, secretary of La Fenice, who had promised them that they would not have problems with the censors, was wrong.

At the beginning of the summer of 1850, rumors started to spread that Austrian censorship was going to forbid the production. They considered the Hugo work to verge on lèse majesté, and would never permit such a scandalous work to be performed in Venice. In August, Verdi and Piave prudently retired to Busseto, Verdi’s hometown, to continue the composition and prepare a defensive scheme. They wrote to the theatre, assuring them that the censor’s doubts about the morality of the work were not justified but since very little time was left, very little could be done. The work was secretly called by the composers The Malediction (or The Curse), and this unofficial title was used by Austrian censor De Gorzkowski (who evidently had known of it from spies) to enforce, if needed, the violent letter by which he definitively denied consent to its production.

In order not to waste all their work, Piave tried to revise the libretto and was even able to pull from it another opera Il Duca di Vendome, in which the sovereign was substituted with a duke and both the hunchback and the curse disappeared. Verdi was completely against this proposed solution and preferred instead to have direct negotiations with censors, arguing over each and every point of the work.

At this point Brenna, La Fenice’s secretary, showed the Austrians some letters and articles depicting the bad character but the great value of the artist, helping to mediate the dispute. In the end the parties were able to agree that the action of the opera had to be moved from the royal court of France to a duchy of France or Italy, as well as a renaming of the characters. In the Italian version the Duke reigns over Mantova and belongs to the Gonzaga family: the Gonzaga had long been extinct by the mid-19th Century, and the Dukedom of Mantova did not exist anymore, so nobody could be offended. The scene in which the sovereign retires in Gilda’s bedroom would be deleted and the visit of the Duke to the Taverna (inn) was not intentional anymore, but provoked by a trick. The hunchback (originally Triboulet) became Rigoletto (from French rigolo = funny). The name of the work too was changed.

For the première, Verdi had Felice Varesi as Rigoletto, the young tenor Raffaele Mirate as the Duke, and Teresina Brambilla as Gilda (though Verdi would have preferred Teresa De Giuli Borsi). Teresina Brambilla was a well-known soprano coming from a family of singers and musicians; one of her nieces, Teresa Brambilla, was the wife of Amilcare Ponchielli.

The opening was a complete triumph, especially the scena drammatica, and the Duke’s cynical aria, “La donna è mobile”, was sung in the streets the next morning.

Mar 11 2011

Six In The Morning

Magnitude 8.9 earthquake rocks Japan

The quake strikes off the northeast coast of Japan, and a tsunami follows, sweeping away cars, boats and even buildings. People in Tokyo tell of ‘shaking and rocking.’

By Barbara Demick, David Pierson and Kenji Hall, Los Angeles Times

March 11, 2011, 12:23 a.m.


Reporting from Beijing and Tokyo An 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the northeast coast of Japan on Friday, shaking office buildings in Tokyo and setting off a devastating tsunami that swept away cars and boats.

The quake – the world’s fifth largest since 1900, according to the U.S. Geological Survey – struck at 2.46 p.m. local time.

There were reports of injuries in Tokyo as officials tried to assess damage, injuries and deaths from the quake and tsunami, but there were no immediate details.

Mar 11 2011

8.9 Magnitude Earthquake in Japan

This is just coming in now that a major earthquake has struck the Northeast of Japan at 2:46 p.m. local time (0146 EST) with a tsunami. A tsunami warning has been issued for other parts of the region. Hawaii is under a tsunami watch.

Up Date: Al jazeera and other news agencies are reporting that there are 19 confirmed deaths.

The entire Pacific basin is under either a tsunami warning with some waves are expected to bee higher than some Pacific islands.

Nuclear power plants in Japan are shut down and there are no reports of leaks. Most transportation has been shut down.

Bullet train network is shut down and airports are closed.

There is a warning issued for another quake expected to hit Honshu.

State of emergency is declared at Japanese nuclear plants

Process for cooling reactor ‘not going as planned’ in wake of quake, administrator says

Japan’s top government spokesman and local administrators say emergencies have been issued at two nuclear power plants over cooling-system fears in the wake of Friday’s giant earthquake.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says the nuclear power plant in Fukushima developed a mechanical failure in the system needed to cool the reactor after it was shut down after the earthquake. He said there was no radiation leak.

Japan earthquake and tsunami: fire breaks out at nuclear plant in Onagawa

A fire broke out in the turbine building of Onagawa nuclear plant in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, on Friday after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake triggered a huge tsunami.

It was not immediately clear if there was a risk of a radioactive leak as a result of the fire at the plant operated by Tohoku Electric Power. Miyagi prefecture was one of the areas worst hit by the tsunami.

Tokyo Narita Airport Cancels All Flights Today After Quake

Tokyo’s Narita Airport, Japan’s main international gateway, canceled all flights for the rest of the day after the country was hit by the world’s strongest earthquake in six years.

About 13,800 passengers were stranded because of the shutdown, Ryoko Yabe, a spokeswoman for the airport said by phone. There was no visible damage to runways, she said. Tokyo’s Haneda airport, Asia’s second-busiest by passengers, resumed flights, the transport ministry said.

Hawaii orders evacuations in tsunami threat

(Reuters) – Hawaii ordered evacuations from coastal areas due to the threat of a tidal wave set off by Friday’s earthquake in Japan as a tsunami warning was extended to the whole of the Pacific basin, except mainland United States and Canada.

Authorities also ordered evacuation from low-lying areas on the U.S. island territory of Guam in the western Pacific, where residents there were urged to move at least 50 feet above sea level and 100 feet inland.

Roubini Says Earthquake Is ‘Worst Thing’ at ‘Worst Time’ for Japan Economy

Nouriel Roubini, the economist who predicted the global financial crisis, said the earthquake in Japan comes at the “worst time” as the country struggles to lower its budget deficit.

“This is certainly the worst thing that can happen in Japan at the worst time,” Roubini told Maryam Nemazee on Bloomberg Television’s “Countdown” in London today. “There will be fiscal stimulus to reconstruct but Japan already has a budget deficit of close to 10 percent of” gross domestic product and an aging population.

The Bank of Japan (8301) pledged to ensure financial stability after the magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck off the coast of Sendai, sparking a tsunami. Japanese stocks declined in Tokyo today. The central bank, which keeps its benchmark rate at zero, had last month said the world’s third-largest economy is set to recover from a fourth-quarter contraction.

The picture in the below news article gives clear idea of just how devastating this disaster is

Major damage in Japan after 8.9 quake

A powerful tsunami spawned by the largest earthquake in Japan’s history slammed the eastern coast Friday, sweeping away boats, cars, homes and people as widespread fires burned out of control.

Japan earthquake unleashes tsunami

Up to 19 people killed as tsunami causes major damage after 8.9-magnitude quake strikes off the coast.

A 10-metre tsunami hit Sendai airport in the north-east. Television footage showed people standing on the roof of the terminal building.

The tsunami roared over embankments in Sendai city, washing cars, houses and farm equipment inland before reversing directions and carrying them out to sea. Flames shot from some of the houses, probably because of burst gas pipes.

Thirty international search and rescue teams stand ready to go to Japan to provide assistance following the quake, the United Nations said.

Military airplanes were flying over the worst-affected areas to assess the need for rescue efforts.

Many people were reported injured after a roof caved in during a school graduation ceremony at a hall in east Tokyo, the fire department in the capital said, after the quake hit.

snip

Al Jazeera’s Marga Ortigas, reporting from Manila in the Philippines, said the military there had been ordered to help evacuate areas at risk on the east coast.

Several earthquakes have hit the region in recent days, including a 7.2-magnitude quake on Wednesday.

“Japan has been on high alert since the earthquake on Wednesday,” Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, following developments from the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, said.

“Japan is very well equipped to deal both with the initial tremors caused by an earthquake: buildings are systematically built with allowances for sway so that they are less likely to fall down. Also coastal cities have long had tsunami protection measures in place.”

Friday’s quake struck at a depth of 24 kilometres, about 125 kilometres off the eastern coast, the country’s meteorological agency said.

The quake was the biggest in 140 years. It surpasses the Great Kanto quake of 1923, which had a magnitude of

7.9 and killed more than 140,000 people in the Tokyo area.

Northern Japan Suffers Major Tsunami Damage

TOKYO (AP) – Japan was struck by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake off its northeastern coast Friday, unleashing a 13-foot (4-meter) tsunami that washed away cars and tore away buildings along the coast near the epicenter. There were reports of injuries in Tokyo.

In various locations along Japan’s coast, TV footage showed massive damage from the tsunami, with dozens of cars, boats and even buildings being carried along by waters. A large ship swept away by the tsunami rammed directly into a breakwater in Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture, according to footage on public broadcaster NHK.

Officials were trying to assess damage, injuries and deaths from the quake but had no immediate details.

The quake that struck at 2:46 p.m. was followed by a series of powerful aftershocks, including a 7.4-magnitude one about 30 minutes later. The U.S. Geological Survey upgraded the strength of the first quake to a magnitude 8.9, while Japan’s meteorological agency measured it at 7.9.

Live feed from Al Jazeera

More pictures below the fold

Cross posted at Docudarma

Mar 11 2011

Taking Back America: Shock Doctrine

Recently Naomi Klein, the author of the “Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capital Management”, has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show and with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now discussing Anti-Union Bills and Disaster Capital Management American-Style:

   NAOMI KLEIN: Well, I just found out about this last night, and like I said, there’s so much going on that these extraordinary measures are just getting lost in the shuffle. But in Michigan, there is a bill that’s already passed the House. It’s on the verge of passing the Senate. And I’ll just read you some excerpts from it. It says that in the case of an economic crisis, that the governor has the authority to authorize the emergency manager-this is somebody who would be appointed-to reject, modify or terminate the terms of an existing contract or collective bargaining agreement, authorize the emergency manager for a municipal government-OK, so we’re not-we’re talking about towns, municipalities across the state-to disincorporate. So, an appointed official with the ability to dissolve an elected body, when they want to.

   AMY GOODMAN: A municipal government.

   NAOMI KLEIN: A municipal government. And it says specifically, “or dissolve the municipal government.” So we’ve seen this happening with school boards, saying, “OK, this is a failing school board. We’re taking over. We’re dissolving it. We’re canceling the contracts.” You know, what this reminds me of is New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, when the teachers were fired en masse and then it became a laboratory for charter schools. You know, people in New Orleans-and you know this, Amy-warned us. They said, “What’s happening to us is going to happen to you.” And I included in the book a quote saying, “Every city has their Lower Ninth Ward.” And what we’re seeing with the pretext of the flood is going to be used with the pretext of an economic crisis. And this is precisely what’s happening. So it starts with the school boards, and then it’s whole towns, whole cities, that could be subject to just being dissolved because there’s an economic crisis breaking collective bargaining agreements. It also specifies that-this bill specifies that an emergency manager can be an individual or a firm. Or a firm. So, the person who would be put in charge of this so-called failing town or municipality could actually be a corporation.

We are now seeing the push to fulfill this agenda to make “harsher American less democratic”.  Not  only are they stripping the rights of workers but the Republican corporate agenda is now going after the one remedy that Americans have to stop them, voting rights. Currently there are bills under consideration in 32 states to make it harder to vote in 2012, by forcing people to ID that the poor, minorities and students that they have difficulty obtaining, eliminating same day registration and restricting the voting rights of people who have served time in prison.

Mar 11 2011

DocuDharma Digest

Regular Features-

Featured Essays for March 10, 2011-

DocuDharma

Mar 11 2011

Prime Time

Why does TV suck so much?

Discuss.

To the last, I will grapple with thee… from Hell’s heart, I stab at thee! For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee!

We are one big, happy fleet! Ah, Kirk, my old friend, do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold? It is very cold in space!

Later-

You still remember, Admiral. I cannot help but be touched. I, of course, remember you.

Dave in repeats from 2/8.  Jon has Trey Parker and Matt Stone (talking about Mormons), Stephen Jeff Greenfield.  Conan hosts Seth Rogen, Wendy Williams, and Lykke Li.

It has been said that social occasions are only warfare concealed. Some would prefer it to be more honest, more… open.

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

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