Monday, September 17, 2007

Shock Economics

Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein, view the vid, visit the website, read the book.

Milton Friedman, Donald Rumsfeld, William Kristol, the rise of economics based on psychiatry.

Learn how to prevent yourself from being shocked into submission,




DEN said...

Sleep deprivation claimed me as a victim last night so I'm not too sharp this AM.

Naomi was on Democracy Now this AM with her story and I found it quite compelling and reasonably understandable given the current events.

If nothing else at least watch the film at the website.

Fascism isn't pretty.

micki said...

Lib Dems back call to make UK carbon neutral by 2050

Deborah Summers, politics editor
Monday September 17, 2007

Guardian Unlimited
Britain must become carbon neutral by 2050, Chris Huhne insisted today, as delegates at the Liberal Democrat conference backed his attempt to position the party as the party of the environment.

Brushing aside suggestions that he was, in fact, positioning himself as a challenger to Sir Menzies Campbell, the Lib Dem environment spokesman insisted that there was "absolutely no vacancy for the leadership".

In a keynote speech to the Lib Dem conference in Brighton, Mr Huhne said that his environmental proposals were "the first comprehensive set of proposals to reduce carbon emissions put forward by any political party".

"Gordon Brown does not get the environment," claimed Mr Huhne. "He does not feel it in his gut. He was the chancellor who cut taxes on pollution.

"He cut climate change research. He even cut flood defences ... Brown is not green. Never has been, and never will be."

As for the Tories, Mr Huhne said they had "yet to agree on a single one of John Gummer's plans to cut carbon".

"A lot of their ideas will put up carbon emissions. The only green thing about John Redwood is his name. Redwood wants more roads, and [David] Cameron has backed him.

"Redwood wants airport expansion in the south-east and Cameron has backed him. So far the score is John Redwood 2 and John Gummer nil.

"Cameron's circus skills are going to be tested if he rides these two horses in opposite directions."

Mr Huhne said Mr Cameron was able to write about anything he liked when he wrote a column for Guardian Unlimited between 2001 and 2004, so he checked how many times he had used the word green.

"Three times. The first was his colleague Damien Green. The second was blaming Norman Lamont for talking about the green shoots of economic recovery. And the third was about sitting on the green leather benches of the House of Commons."

Liberal Democrat delegates voted today in favour of the motion entitled Zero Carbon Britain - Taking a Global Lead. It included a range of environmental policies, including new incentives and targets for energy to come from renewable sources.

The party also wants taxes on highly polluting cars, a climate change charge for domestic flights and a toll on road freight, with the cash raised used to fund rail improvements.

Mr Huhne called for 30% of the UK's electricity to be produced from "clean, non-carbon-emitting sources" by 2020 - rising to 100% by 2050.

He said climate change was "the greatest threat facing our children and our grandchildren", adding that it was necessary to "come up with coherent proposals" to tackle it.

Under the proposals there would be a new high-speed rail link between London and the north of England to encourage more rail use, and special "green mortgages" to encourage people to make environmental improvements to their homes.

However, the party is divided on the issue of nuclear power, with the leadership opposed to any new nuclear while others insist that halting global warming should be a priority.

Chris Davies, the party's climate change spokesman in the European parliament, told the BBC: "I have always been opposed to nuclear power.

"It is expensive, creates a legacy of radioactive waste and has absorbed public resources that should have been used to develop alternative technologies.

"But the imperative now is to fight global warming. We cannot ignore the fact that our existing nuclear power stations do not release carbon dioxide.

"Carbon emissions will rise as they come to the end of their lives."

However, delegates voted against introducing any amendments to Mr Huhne's proposals.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007

DEN said...

The very idea that Americans would manipulate the masses for their own gain is a long standing tradition that needs to be tossed.

Previous comment: actually it is the same vid at the site as it is on page one here.

I too want to see the whole thing.

micki said...

Paul Krugman "fact-checking" poor Alan Greenspan....

September 17, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
Sad Alan’s Lament


When President Bush first took office, it seemed unlikely that he would succeed in getting his proposed tax cuts enacted. The questionable nature of his installation in the White House seemed to leave him in a weak political position, while the Senate was evenly balanced between the parties. It was hard to see how a huge, controversial tax cut, which delivered most of its benefits to a wealthy elite, could get through Congress.

Then Alan Greenspan, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, testified before the Senate Budget Committee.

Until then Mr. Greenspan had presented himself as the voice of fiscal responsibility, warning the Clinton administration not to endanger its hard-won budget surpluses. But now Republicans held the White House, and the Greenspan who appeared before the Budget Committee was a very different man.

Suddenly, his greatest concern — the “emerging key fiscal policy need,” he told Congress — was to avert the threat that the federal government might actually pay off all its debt. To avoid this awful outcome, he advocated tax cuts. And the floodgates were opened.

As it turns out, Mr. Greenspan’s fears that the federal government would quickly pay off its debt were, shall we say, exaggerated. And Mr. Greenspan has just published a book in which he castigates the Bush administration for its fiscal irresponsibility.

Well, I’m sorry, but that criticism comes six years late and a trillion dollars short.

Mr. Greenspan now says that he didn’t mean to give the Bush tax cuts a green light, and that he was surprised at the political reaction to his remarks. There were, indeed, rumors at the time — which Mr. Greenspan now says were true — that the Fed chairman was upset about the response to his initial statement.

But the fact is that if Mr. Greenspan wasn’t intending to lend crucial support to the Bush tax cuts, he had ample opportunity to set the record straight when it could have made a difference.

His first big chance to clarify himself came a few weeks after that initial testimony, when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

Here’s what I wrote following that appearance: “Mr. Greenspan’s performance yesterday, in his first official testimony since he let the genie out of the bottle, was a profile in cowardice. Again and again he was offered the opportunity to say something that would help rein in runaway tax-cutting; each time he evaded the question, often replying by reading from his own previous testimony. He declared once again that he was speaking only for himself, thus granting himself leeway to pronounce on subjects far afield of his role as Federal Reserve chairman. But when pressed on the crucial question of whether the huge tax cuts that now seem inevitable are too large, he said it was inappropriate for him to comment on particular proposals.

“In short, Mr. Greenspan defined the rules of the game in a way that allows him to intervene as he likes in the political debate, but to retreat behind the veil of his office whenever anyone tries to hold him accountable for the results of those interventions.”

I received an irate phone call from Mr. Greenspan after that article, in which he demanded to know what he had said that was wrong. In his book, he claims that Robert Rubin, the former Treasury secretary, was stumped by that question. That’s hard to believe, because I certainly wasn’t: Mr. Greenspan’s argument for tax cuts was contorted and in places self-contradictory, not to mention based on budget projections that everyone knew, even then, were wildly overoptimistic.

If anyone had doubts about Mr. Greenspan’s determination not to inconvenience the Bush administration, those doubts were resolved two years later, when the administration proposed another round of tax cuts, even though the budget was now deep in deficit. And guess what? The former high priest of fiscal responsibility did not object.

And in 2004 he expressed support for making the Bush tax cuts permanent — remember, these are the tax cuts he now says he didn’t endorse — and argued that the budget should be balanced with cuts in entitlement spending, including Social Security benefits, instead. Of course, back in 2001 he specifically assured Congress that cutting taxes would not threaten Social Security.

In retrospect, Mr. Greenspan’s moral collapse in 2001 was a portent. It foreshadowed the way many people in the foreign policy community would put their critical faculties on hold and support the invasion of Iraq, despite ample evidence that it was a really bad idea.

And like enthusiastic war supporters who have started describing themselves as war critics now that the Iraq venture has gone wrong, Mr. Greenspan has started portraying himself as a critic of administration fiscal irresponsibility now that President Bush has become deeply unpopular and Democrats control Congress.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

micki said...

I wonder if Alan (not the one from Houston) will burn a bag of fresh $1,000 bills on Krugman's lawn tonight?

micki said...


Miers' redux?

I wonder if this nomination will be Miers' redux?

Methinks the extreme right wing may put up a fight on Mukasey, even though his tenure as AG would be rather short. Mukasey is probably not batshit looney enough for "true conservatives." He will be touted as the compromise candidate (like Bush ever compromised?!) so that the right wing crazies can shoot him down. Meanwhile, Bush looks like he's playing nice by nominating a "moderate."

The extreme right would be happy to leave the distasteful Clement as placeholder while Bush continues as the dissimulator-in-chief!

micki said...

...or maybe Bill Kristol will whip the loonies into submission.

What a jerk.

DEN said...

Truly Loonies-O-Plenty everywhere.

greenspam is no exception.

micki said...

WANT AD for private contractors in Iraq -- what a bunch of effin' liars in the bush administration

So, the DoD is advertising for more private contractors to pick up the slack becuz we don't have enough soldiers to handle supply operations............

Patraeus yaks it up about successes...then bingo!  Then truth comes out in a WANT AD!

micki said...

(Set to la-la music): The country's in the very best of hands....

The proposal, which is for six months and has a six-month extension option, calls for some personnel to be familiar and experienced with "hazardous/radioactive material handling." At the same time, it states, "Contractor personnel are not required to have a security clearance to perform duties in the SSA." A comment on the Web site version of the proposal adds, "Ensure this is correct."

micki said...,0,3883773.story?coll=hr_tab01_layout

Blackwater loses license after civilian deaths

The Associated Press

8:15 AM EDT, September 17, 2007


The Iraqi Interior Ministry said Monday that it was pulling the license of an American security firm allegedly involved in the fatal shooting of civilians during an attack on a U.S. State Department motorcade in Baghdad.

The ministry said it would prosecute any foreign contractors found to have used excessive force in the Sunday incident.

Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul-Karim Khalaf said eight people were killed and 13 were wounded when security contractors working for Blackwater USA opened fire in a predominantly Sunni neighborhood....etc.


micki said...

What will Mr. Decider-in-chief and Miss Condi do now?

Will they "honor" the ban on Blackwater? Or tell the Iraqi govt to go screw?

Let's see...rumor has it that there are +/- 120,000 "private contractors" (mercenaries) in Iraq.

How many are Blackwaterites?

David B. Benson said...

Micki --- Actually, by everybody living quite modestly it would be possible to have a balanced climate and a large population.


Living modestly means NO MEAT or almost so, hunting is ok.

Living modestly means NO CARS. Not even a motorcyle for Den. Walk, bicycle, dog cart, goat cart. Maybe not even horse-drawn wagons.

Living modestly means everybody grows their own food and stays in the same locality, by in large, for their whole life.

Hard to imagine 6.6+ billion people all willing to so lack ambition...

David B. Benson said...

Blackwater acording to Wikipedia

DEN said...

Doc, when the white man got here the Native Americans were doing just that.

Then they shot all the buffalo and rounded up the AI's and put them on reservations to live like poor white trash.

So the AI's were right, the white man was wrong, which still continues to be the case today.

Hmmm. Thats progess?

DEN said...

AI's is supposed to be A I not al like it looks

carey said...

Man I don't believe this. I just wrote everybody responses to the wonderful blog this weekend. I promptly lost it. I think it's when I reach my baby finger to the "shift key" to captitalize and overreach to the "control" key below it.

Well, it's figuring out how I keep loosing my copy or try to retell everything. I opted for the former.


Thanks for the Frank Rich column.

The worst part about it is, I have to go!

I did learn this, this weekend.

(Be back later)

P.S. You did all hear that the Iraqis asked Blackwater to leave their country.

carey said...

Oh, shoot Micki! Just saw you posted Paul Krugman on Greenspan. That ought to be juicy. I'll read it as soon as I get back!

DEN said...

First problem. Blackwater does not have a license to operate in Iraq and does not need one. They have a U.S. State Department contract through Diplomatic Security. Instead of using Diplomatic Security officers or hiring new Security officers or relying on U.S. military personnel, the Bush Administration has contracted with firms like Blackwater, Triple Canopy, and others for people capable of conducting personnel security details. State Department is not about to curtail the contract with Blackwater, who is tightly wired into Washington. Plus, State Department simply does not have the bodies available to carry out the security mission.

Second problem. The Iraqi government has zero power to enforce a decision to oust a firm like Blackwater. For starters, Blackwater has a bigger air force and more armored vehicles then the Iraqi Army and police put together. As Spencer Ackerman reported, Blackwater’s little bird helicopter (an aircraft normally used by U.S. special operations forces) that was firing mini guns at Iraqi targets on the ground this past weekend.

@ Larry Johnsons, No Quarter

I know, as enticing as it seems the goon squads are NOT leaving Iraq, nor are we any time soon.

David B. Benson said...

Today is Constitution Day!

DEN said...

Become A Citizen Co-Sponsor:

This week, we have a critical opportunity to restore habeas corpus.

The Habeas Corpus Restoration Act gives us a chance to reverse one of the Bush Administration's many assaults on our civil liberties.

We all want to make America safe from terrorism, but becoming a nation that sanctions the unlawful detention of its own residents -- detaining and jailing them without the chance to appear before a judge -- does not make us safe. Instead, it violates a value that we have held dear for centuries -- safeguarding our individual freedom before arbitrary state action.

Please sign-on below as a citizen co-sponsor to the bipartisan Leahy-Specter-Dodd Habeas Corpus Restoration Act.

Sign here.

DEN said...

The Constitution, a quaint document.

DEN said...

Hey! what do you think of the new AG?

Leahy likes him, he is a shoe in with a perfect fit.

Constitution type judge, seems like a law and order guy to me.

David B. Benson said...

Dunno, but I like Leahy's response!

DEN said...

From WAPO Bench Conference:

Mukasey may be conservative, but he clearly is not a craven ideologue like former Attorney General John Ashcroft, and he is certainly not the presidential lapdog that Alberto Gonzales always was. Mukasey thus is a perfect "caretaker" official who can begin (over his first and last 16 months in office) to restore moral and integrity to the Justice Department, ravaged by the skullduggery of his predecessor. Federal prosecutors know him and have reason to trust his judgment. As one New York lawyer told me yesterday, Mukasey is a "judge's judge." Former and current government attorneys, believing Mukasey to be tough, demanding and incisive, were said to be "elated" at the choice.

Slight glimmer of hope in those words.

DEN said...

Hope he has a real big broom, there's a lot of trash in the DOJ, starting with those smarmy little bible school lawyers, 150 at last count.

micki said...

Lincoln Chaffee quietly quits the Republican Party

From the Providence Journal....

Chafee said he disaffiliated with the party he had helped lead, and his father had led before him, because the national Republican Party has gone too far away from his stance on too many critical issues, from war to economics to the environment.

“It’s not my party any more,” he said.....

micki said...

I'm reserving judgment on the judge.

I always smell a rat when it initially appears that bush has done something that seems even a tiny bit rational.

As I said earlier today, the batshit crazies COULD come out of the woodwork and force a fight so that he has to withdraw, or they could cause enough of a ruckus to keep him from getting a confirmation vote.

It depends on what the reichwing base wants out of this nomination....

Because they'll want -- and demand -- something. He's not their man.

micki said...

Here's something that seems to have slipped under the radar screen...and I happen to think it could be a VERY BIG deal. Smelling rats...

Today when bush made his announcement of his pick for AG, he also noted:

Peter Keisler will serve as acting attorney general. Accepting this assignment requires Peter to delay the departure date he announced this month, and I appreciate his willingness to do so.

While Peter's the acting Attorney General, Paul Clement, who agreed to take on this role, will be focused on duties as solicitor general so he can prepare for the Supreme Court term that begins just two weeks from today.

Peter Keisler is a Federalist Society fella.

We were told that Paul Clement was acting AG -- and suddenly there's a a new acting AG. What's going on here?

micki said...

Keisler has a pending nomination to the DC Court of Appeals. He was first nominated last year and renominated this year. In May, Patrick Leahy warned that Keisler's nomination was "controversial."

As a result of being named acting AG, Keisler will now be in the odd position of having to deal with the Democrats who are holding up his still-pending nomination to the DC Court of Appeals.

Keisler is a co-founder of the conservative Federalist Society.

He also "oversaw the Bush administration's lengthy legal fight over the rights of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay."

Rats...more rats...smelly rats.

micki said...

Mukasey will not be the next AG.

Keisler is the new heir nonapparent.

I'm making predictions a la Gerald. :-)

micki said...

Dr. B -- 6.6 billion (is that the right number?) modest lifestyles? Not likely.

micki said...

...another thought

Keisler is the placeholder AG who has pledged fealty to the busheviks and has agreed to withhold any and all documents from investigators.