Daily Archive: 06/15/2014

Jun 15 2014

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: These are a few of my least favourite things by NY Brit Expat

It’s been one of those weeks where so many things have come to light that I simply do not know where to begin writing first. I sit there and think, which of the various things that I have been listening to or reading about have actually annoyed me to the point of actually writing about. I have realised that I am just generally annoyed.

When I thought about it more, I concluded that the underlying theme of these various stories is a complete and utter contempt by bourgeois governments (that lay claim to being utterly democratic) of the vast majority of people that they govern. Whether they govern competently or not, whether there is anything resembling a democratic mandate or not; it is the utter contempt in which they hold the majority of the population that has really gotten my goat.

I also realised that this is not only confined to governments, it is a view shared by the leadership of religious authorities, by arms of the state (police, armies, etc.) and even by the heads of sporting associations.  This contempt is a reflection of the fact that those in power think/know that when push comes to shove, they know who they serve and it is not the vast majority of people; it is a tiny elite hiding behind the word “democracy” while actually not even slightly being accountable to that majority. It is the abuse of power by those that have it wielded against those that view themselves as powerless. Having just spoken to my postman about my frustration, he agreed and said “this is a long term problem, what can you and I do about it”?

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Jun 15 2014

The Sunday March of the NeoCons

Every Sunday it’s almost guaranteed that the majority of the Sunday talk shows would be dominated by right wing neocons who have over the last 40 years managed to take this country into not just economic failure of the middle class but into being the laughing stock of the international community. This morning was no different as the war mongers and neocon war criminal were on full display.

Let’s start with “This Week” and the Bill Clinton’s former Press Secretary’s lien up. You can’t make this up, Laura Ingraham, a right wing radio talk show hack who managed to wheedle herself into a gig with ABC News, thinks that poor Eric Cantor can’t take a joke. During one of her appearances for David Brat, Cantor’s primary challenger, she suggested that Obama should have traded Cantor to the Taliban for Sgt, Bowe Bergdahl because of his stance on immigration reform. Ummm, Cantor is Jewish. She doubled down on that this morning’s “This Week” reacting to Cantor’s saying that comments like that “cheapened the debate.” Remember Daniel Pearl’s beheading, anyone?

While I dislike Eric Cantor, Laura went too far the first time and way over the antisemitism line the second. No Laura, we’re not laughing and you aren’t funny.

On “Face the Nation,” we have Senator Lindsey “I never saw a war I didn’t like” Graham on his fainting couch saying that the developments in Iraq and Syria portend another 9/11.

“The decision to withdraw U.S. forces created a vacuum,” Graham said. “Syria is launching pad. …If the central government in Iraq collapses – and that’s the goal of ISIS – Iran will own southern part of Iraq, that’s where the Shiites live; they can operate ISIS from Baghdad to Kurdistan all the way in to Syria. They will eventually march on Jordan and Lebanon – our best ally in the region is the King of Jordan – and they will attack us from that part of Iraq and Syria. According to our own Director of National Intelligence, FBI Director, the next 9/11 is coming from here.”

“That a very serious statement,” Schieffer said.

“I think it’s inevitable,” Graham replied. “They plan to drive us out of the Mideast by attacked us here at home.”

Where are Rudy, “a noun, a verb and 9/11,” Guiliani and Rep. Peter, “Mr. Islamaphobia,” King (R-NY)?

But the icing on this morning’s cake was on “Meet The Press” with David “The Dancing Master” Gregory’s interview with none other than one of the chief Bush war criminals former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. When asked by Gregory about his and his neocon buddies culpability for the sectarian violence, Wolfie hedged:

   Gregory: Where you and others culpable of underestimating the level of sectarian violence, warfare in the country that creates the potential for this kind of terror states to develop today?

   Wolfowitz: Look, you use the word sectarian so did Richard Engel, This is more than just the obscure Shia/Sunni conflict. This is al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda is not on the road of defeat, al-Qaeda is on the march. Not just in Iraq and Syria and we have real enemies in the US and what we should be looking for friends. I think when we stick with our friends and those friends are not always perfect, but we stuck with the Kurds for twenty years. Northern Iraq, Kurdistan is a success story. We stuck with them South Korea for sixty years. South Korea is a miracle story if we walked away from that country in 1953, that country was a basket case.

(h/t John Amato at Crooks and Liars)

Never mind several centuries of the Sunni/Shiite rift, it’s Al Qaeda? oy.

First off Wolfowitz should be in prison in either The Hague or a max security here in the US. He shouldn’t be marched out as an expert any defense or foreign policy matter, let alone the Middle East.

Pass the antifreeze and make mine a double.

Jun 15 2014

Rant of the Week: John Oliver – FIFA and the World Cup

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): FIFA and the World Cup

Jun 15 2014

The Breakfast Club :: Wise Guy Edition

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 photo pesci.jpgWelcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.  

(Truth be told, friends, we’re really not that disorganized; the fact that we’ve managed to put this series together and stick with it, despite the recent loss of some of our members, disabuses the notion that we’re disorganized, right?  Also, I wish I had a censored night once in awhile, but alas, this is something my producers made me say.)

This Day in History


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This bit was posted at Voices on the Square, The Stars Holllow Gazette, Docudharma, and Daily Kos.

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Jun 15 2014

On This Day In History June 15

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.

Click on image to enlarge

June 15 is the 166th day of the year (167th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 199 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day 1215, Magna Carta sealed.

Following a revolt by the English nobility against his rule, King John puts his royal seal on the Magna Carta, or “Great Charter.” The document, essentially a peace treaty between John and his barons, guaranteed that the king would respect feudal rights and privileges, uphold the freedom of the church, and maintain the nation’s laws. Although more a reactionary than a progressive document in its day, the Magna Carta was seen as a cornerstone in the development of democratic England by later generations.

John was enthroned as king of England following the death of his brother, King Richard the Lion-Hearted, in 1199. King John’s reign was characterized by failure. He lost the duchy of Normandy to the French king and taxed the English nobility heavily to pay for his foreign misadventures. He quarreled with Pope Innocent III and sold church offices to build up the depleted royal coffers. Following the defeat of a campaign to regain Normandy in 1214, Stephen Langton, the archbishop of Canterbury, called on the disgruntled barons to demand a charter of liberties from the king.

Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch’s authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225. The 1297 version, with the long title (originally in Latin) The Great Charter of the Liberties of England, and of the Liberties of the Forest, still remains on the statute books of England and Wales.

The 1215 Charter required King John of England to proclaim certain liberties, and accept that his will was not arbitrary, for example by explicitly accepting that no “freeman” (in the sense of non-serf) could be punished except through the law of the land, a right which is still in existence today.

Magna Carta was the first document forced onto an English King by a group of his subjects, the feudal barons, in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their privileges. It was preceded and directly influenced by the Charter of Liberties in 1100, in which King Henry I had specified particular areas wherein his powers would be limited.

Despite its recognised importance, by the second half of the 19th century nearly all of its clauses had been repealed in their original form. Three clauses remain part of the law of England and Wales, however, and it is generally considered part of the uncodified constitution. Lord Denning described it as “the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despo In a 2005 speech, Lord Woolf described it as “first of a series of instruments that now are recognised as having a special constitutional status”, the others being the Habeas Corpus Act, the Petition of Right, the Bill of Rights, and the Act of Settlement.

The charter was an important part of the extensive historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law in the English speaking world, although it was “far from unique, either in content or form”. In practice, Magna Carta in the medieval period did not in general limit the power of kings, but by the time of the English Civil War it had become an important symbol for those who wished to show that the King was bound by the law. It influenced the early settlers in New England and inspired later constitutional documents, including the United States Constitution.

Jun 15 2014

The Breakfast Club :: Wise Guy Edition

 photo wiseguys.jpg

 photo pesci.jpgWelcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.  

(Truth be told, friends, we’re really not that disorganized; the fact that we’ve managed to put this series together and stick with it, despite the recent loss of some of our members, disabuses the notion that we’re disorganized, right?  Also, I wish I had a censored night once in awhile, but alas, this is something my producers made me say.)

This Day in History


 photo cagneydoodle.png

This bit was posted at Voices on the Square, The Stars Holllow Gazette, Docudharma, and Daily Kos.

 photo gangsters-collage-godfather-goodfellas-scarface-sopranos-movie-poster-print.jpg



 photo cagneydoodle.png


 photo cagneydoodle.png

Jun 15 2014

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis 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”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The guests on this Sunday’s “This Week” are:  House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA); House Homeland Security Committee Chair Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX); former Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli; ABC News contributor Col. Steve Ganyard, USMC (Ret.) and journalist Elizabeth Drew, author of “Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon’s Downfall.”

The Roundtable guests are  Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL); Democratic strategist Donna Brazile;  Democratic strategist Donna Brazile; syndicated radio host Laura Ingraham; and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer;s guest are Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); former Obama National Security Adviser Tom Donilon; RNC chairman Reince Priebus; and the lawyers who defeated California’s ban on gay marriage, Prop 8, David Boies and Ted Olson.

Joining Mr. Schieffer on his panel are Robert Costa of The Washington Post; Gwen Ifill of PBS; and CBS News Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes.

Meet the Press with David Gregory: The guests on MTP are former Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney; Richard Engel, NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent; Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV); Rep. Peter King (R-NY); David Ignatius, The Washington Post; Dexter Filkins, New Yorker; and Kevin Tibbles, NBC News Correspondent.

Guest at the roundtable are Chuck Todd, NBC Chief White House Correspondent; Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post; former Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN); Ken Cuccinelli, former Virginia Attorney General;  and Steve Schmidt, GOP Strategist.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Dana Bash and Gloria Borger are guest hosts this Sunday.  Their guests are House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA); Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton; also Iraq war veterans Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).

Jun 15 2014

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Iraq conflict: Sunni militant push on Baghdad ‘halted’

 15 June 2014 Last updated at 08:02

 BBC

Iraqi government forces, backed by Shia Muslim and Kurdish militias, are reportedly holding back an advance by Sunni militants north of Baghdad.

A number of towns have been retaken from the rebels, but they still control the key cities of Tikrit and Mosul.

In one town that changed hands, Ishaq, security forces said they had found the incinerated bodies of 12 policemen.

A US aircraft carrier has been deployed to the Gulf in response to the escalating violence.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned that American assistance in tackling any Islamist offensive will only succeed if Iraqi leaders are willing to put aside their differences.




Sunday’s Headlines:

Qatar hits back at allegations of bribery over 2022 World Cup

Secret state: Trevor Paglen documents the hidden world of governmental surveillance, from drone bases to “black sites”

‘This is a war, and Russia is involved’

Egypt arrests Sunni scholar sentenced to death

Curfew lifted in Bangkok, giving a green light to the red-light district

Jun 15 2014

Saturday Night Movie