Monday, November 05, 2007

Save the Rich!

Naomi Klein's Latest Column

Rapture Rescue 911: Disaster Response for the Chosen
by Naomi Klein
November 2, 2007

I used to worry that the United States was in the grip of extremists who sincerely believed that the Apocalypse was coming and that they and their friends would be airlifted to heavenly safety. I have since reconsidered. The country is indeed in the grip of extremists who are determined to act out the biblical climax—the saving of the chosen and the burning of the masses—but without any divine intervention. Heaven can wait. Thanks to the booming business of privatized disaster services, we're getting the Rapture right here on earth.

Just look at what is happening in Southern California. Even as wildfires devoured whole swaths of the region, some homes in the heart of the inferno were left intact, as if saved by a higher power. But it wasn't the hand of God; in several cases it was the handiwork of Firebreak Spray Systems. Firebreak is a special service offered to customers of insurance giant American International Group—but only if they happen to live in the wealthiest ZIP codes in the country. Members of the company's Private Client Group pay an average of $19,000 to have their homes sprayed with fire retardant. During the wildfires, the "mobile units"—racing around in red fire-trucks—even extinguished fires for their clients.

One customer described a scene of modern-day Revelation. "Just picture it. Here you are in that raging wildfire. Smoke everywhere. Flames everywhere. Plumes of smoke coming up over the hills," he told the Los Angeles Times. "Here's a couple guys showing up in what looks like a firetruck who are experts trained in fighting wildfire and they're there specifically to protect your home."

And your home alone. "There were a few instances," one of the private firefighters told Bloomberg News, "where we were spraying and the neighbor's house went up like a candle." With public fire departments cut to the bone, gone are the days of Rapid Response, when everyone was entitled to equal protection. Now, increasingly intense natural disasters will be met with the new model: Rapture Response.

During last year's hurricane season, Florida homeowners were offered similarly high-priced salvation by HelpJet, a travel agency launched with promises to turn "a hurricane evacuation into a jet-setter vacation." For an annual fee, a company concierge takes care of everything: transport to the air terminal, luxurious travel, bookings at five-star resorts. Most of all, HelpJet is an escape hatch from the kind of government failure on display during Katrina. "No standing in lines, no hassle with crowds, just a first class experience."

HelpJet is about to get some serious competition from some much larger players. In northern Michigan, during the same week that the California fires raged, the rural community of Pellston was in the grip of an intense public debate. The village is about to become the headquarters for the first fully privatized national disaster response center. The plan is the brainchild of Sovereign Deed, a little-known start-up with links to the mercenary firm Triple Canopy. Like HelpJet, Sovereign Deed works on a "country-club type membership fee," according to the company's vice president, retired Brig. Gen. Richard Mills. In exchange for a one-time fee of $50,000 followed by annual dues of $15,000, members receive "comprehensive catastrophe response services" should their city be hit by a manmade disaster that can "cause severe threats to public health and/or well-being" (read: a terrorist attack), a disease outbreak or a natural disaster. Basic membership includes access to medicine, water and food, while those who pay for "premium tiered services" will be eligible for VIP rescue missions.

Like so many private disaster companies, Sovereign Deed is selling escape from climate change and the failed state—by touting the security clearance and connections its executives amassed while working for that same state. So Mills, speaking recently in Pellston, explained, "The reality of FEMA is that it has no infrastructure, and a lot of our National Guard is elsewhere." Sovereign Deed, on the other hand, claims to have "direct access and special arrangements with several national and international information centers. These proprietary arrangements allow our Emergency Operations Center to…give our Members that critical head start in times of crisis." In this secular version of the Rapture, God's hand is unnecessary. Not when you have retired ex-CIA agents and ex–Special Forces lifting the chosen to safety—no need to pray, just pay. And who needs a celestial New Jerusalem when you can have Pellston, with its flexible local politicians and its surprisingly modern regional airport?

Sovereign Deed could soon find itself competing with Blackwater USA, whose CEO, Erik Prince, wrote recently of his plans to offer "full spectrum" services, including humanitarian aid in disasters. When fires broke out in San Diego County, near the proposed site of the controversial Blackwater West base, the company immediately seized the opportunity to make its case. Blackwater could have been the "tactical operation center for East County fires," said company vice president Brian Bonfiglio. "Can you imagine how much of a benefit it would be if we were operational now?" To show off its capacity, Blackwater has been distributing badly needed food and blankets to people of Potrero, California. "This is something we've always done," Bonfiglio said. "This is what we do." Actually, what Blackwater does, as Iraqis have painfully learned, is not protect entire communities or countries but "protect the principal"—the principal being whoever has paid Blackwater for its guns and gear.

The same pay-to-be-saved logic governs this entire new sector of country club disaster management. There is, of course, another principle that could guide our collective responses in a disaster-prone world: the simple conviction that every life is of equal value. For anyone out there who still believes in that wild idea, the time has urgently arrived to protect the principle.

If that doesn't make you physically ill, you are not human.

Whisked away from the disaster, driven through the hordes and masses of displaced people, running over and shooting others to make your escape to "Paradise".

Good luck with that rich boy.



DEN said...

Keith Olbermans' Special Comment:

Finally tonight, as promised, a Special Comment on the meaning of the story of former U.S. Acting Assistant Attorney General Daniel Levin.

It is a fact startling in its cynical simplicity and it requires cynical and simple words to be properly expressed:

The presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush.

All the petulancy, all the childish threats, all the blank-stare stupidity;

All the invocations of World War Three, all the sophistic questions about which terrorist attacks we wanted him not to stop, all the phony secrets; all the claims of executive privilege, all the stumbling tap-dancing of his nominees, all the verbal flatulence of his apologists…

All of it is now — after one revelation last week — transparently clear for what it is: the pathetic and desperate manipulation of the government, the re-focusing of our entire nation, towards keeping this mock president, and this unstable vice president, and this departed wildly self-over-rating Attorney General — and the others — from potential prosecution for having approved or ordered the illegal torture of prisoners being held in the name of this country.

“Waterboarding is torture,” Daniel Levin was to write.

Daniel Levin was no theorist and no protestor.

He was no troublemaking politician.

He was no table-pounding commentator.

Daniel Levin was an astonishingly patriotic American, and a brave man.

Brave not just with words or with stances — even in a dark time when that kind of bravery can usually be scared — or bought — off.

Charged — as you heard in the story from ABC News last Friday — with assessing the relative legality of the various nightmares in the Pandora’s box that is the Orwell-worthy euphemism “Enhanced Interrogation,” Mr. Levin decided that the simplest, and the most honest, way to evaluate them… was to have them enacted upon himself.

Daniel Levin took himself to a military base and let himself be water-boarded.

Mr. Bush — ever done anything that personally courageous?

Perhaps when you’ve gone to Walter Reed and teared up over the maimed servicemen? And then gone back to the White House and determined that there would be more maimed servicemen?

Has it been that kind of personal courage, Mr. Bush, when you’ve spoken of American victims and the triumph of freedom and the sacrifice of your own popularity for the sake of our safety? And then permitted others to fire or discredit or destroy anybody who disagreed with you — whether they were your own Generals, or… Max Cleland, or… Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame… or Daniel Levin?

Daniel Levin should have a statue in his honor in Washington right now.

Instead, he was forced out as Acting Assistant Attorney General, nearly three years ago, because he had the guts to do what George Bush couldn’t do in a million years: actually put himself at risk for the sake of his country, for the sake of what is right.

And they water-boarded him and he wrote that even though he knew those doing it meant him no harm, and he knew they would rescue him at the instant of the slightest distress, and he knew he would not die — still, with all that reassurance, he could not stop the terror screaming from inside of him, could not quell the horror, could not convince that which is at the core of each of us — the entity who exists behind all the embellishments we strap to ourselves, like purpose and name and family and love — he could not convince his being… that he wasn’t drowning.

Water-boarding, he said, is torture.

Legally, it is torture!

Practically, it is torture!

Ethically, it is torture!

And he wrote it down.

Wrote it down somewhere, where it could be contrasted with the words of this country’s 43rd President: “The United States of America does not torture.”

Made you into a liar, Mr. Bush.

Made you into, if anybody had the guts to pursue it, a criminal, Mr. Bush.

Water-boarding had already been used on Khalid Sheik Mohammed and a couple of other men none of us really care about — except, Sir, for the one detail you’d forgotten — that there are rules, and even if we just make up these rules, this country observes them anyway, because we’re Americans, sir, and we’re better than that.

We’re better than you.

And the man your Justice Department selected to decide whether or not water-boarding was torture, had decided, and not in some phony academic fashion, nor while wearing the Walter Mitty poseur attire of flight-suit and helmet.

He had put his money, Mr. Bush, where your mouth was.

So, your sleazy sycophantic henchman Mr. Gonzales had him append an asterisk suggesting his black-and-white answer wasn’t black-and-white, that there might have been a quasi-legal way of torturing people, maybe with an absolute time limit and a physician entitled to stop it, maybe, if your administration had ever bothered to set any rules or any guidelines…

And then when your people realized that even that was too dangerous, Daniel Levin was branded “too independent” and “someone who could (not) be counted on.”

In other words, Mr. Bush, somebody you couldn’t count on to lie for you.

So, Levin was fired.

Because if it ever got out what he’d concluded, and the lengths to which he went, to validate that conclusion, anybody who had sanctioned water-boarding, and who-knows-what-else… anybody — you yourself, sir — you would have been screwed.

And screwed you are.

It can’t be coincidence that the story of Daniel Levin should emerge from the black hole of this secret society of a presidency just at the conclusion of the unhappy saga of the newest Attorney General Nominee.

Another patriot somewhere, listened as Judge Mukasey mumbled like he’d never heard of water-boarding, and refuse to answer in words that which Daniel Levin answered on a water-board somewhere in Maryland or Virginia three years ago.

And this someone also heard George Bush say “The United States of America does not torture” and realized either he was lying or this wasn’t the United States of America any more, and either way, he needed to do something about it.

Not in the way Levin needed to do something about it, but in a brave way nonetheless.

We have United States Senators who need to do something about it, too.

Chairman Leahy of the Judiciary Committee has seen this for what it is and said “enough.”

Senator Schumer has seen it, reportedly, as some kind of puzzle piece in the New York political patronage system and he has failed.

What Senator Feinstein has seen, to justify joining Schumer in rubber-stamping Mukasey, I cannot guess.

It is obvious that both those Senators should look to the meaning of the story of Daniel Levin and recant their support for Mukasey’s confirmation.

And they should look into their own committee’s history and recall that in 1973, their predecessors were able to wring even from Richard Nixon, a guarantee of a Special Prosecutor (ultimately a Special Prosecutor of Richard Nixon!), in exchange for their approval of his new Attorney General, Elliott Richardson.

If they could get that out of Nixon, you — before you confirm the President’s latest human echo tomorrow — you better be able to get a “yes” or a “no” out of Michael Mukasey.

Ideally, you should lock this government down financially until a special prosecutor is appointed — or fifty of them — but I’m not holding my breath. The “yes” or the “no” on water-boarding will have to suffice.

Because, remember if you can’t get it, or you won’t with the time between tonight and the next presidential election likely to be the longest year of our lives, you are leaving this country, and all of us, to the water-boards — symbolic and otherwise — of George W. Bush.

Ultimately, Mr. Bush, the real question isn’t who approved the water-boarding of this fiend Khalid Sheik Mohammed and two others.

It is: why were they water-boarded?

Study after study for generation after generation, sir, has confirmed that torture gets people to talk, torture gets people to plead, torture gets people to break, but torture does not get them to tell the truth.

Of course, Mr. Bush, this isn’t a problem if you don’t care if the terrorist plots they tell you about, are the truth or just something to stop the tormentors from drowning them.

If, say, a President simply needed a constant supply of terrorist threats to keep a country scared…

If, say, he needed phony plots to play hero during, and to boast about interrupting, and to use to distract people from the threat he didn’t interrupt…

If, say, he realized that even terrorized people still need good ghost stories before they will let a President pillage the Constitution…

Well, heck, Mr. Bush, who better to dream them up for you… than an actual terrorist?

He’ll tell you every thing he ever fantasized doing, in his most horrific of daydreams — his equivalent of the day you “flew” onto the deck of the Lincoln to explain you’d won in Iraq.

Now if that’s what this is all about — you tortured not because you’re so stupid you think torture produces confession — but you tortured because you’re smart enough to know it produces really authentic-sounding fiction — well, then you’re going to need all the lawyers you can find because that crime wouldn’t just mean impeachment, would it, sir?

That crime would mean George W. Bush is going to prison.

Thus the master tumblers turn, and the lock yields, and the hidden explanations can all be perceived, in their exact proportions, in their exact progressions.

Daniel Levin’s eminently practical, eminently logical, eminently patriotic way of testing the legality of waterboarding has to vanish — and him, with it.

Thus Alberto Gonzales has to use that brain that sounds like an old car trying to start on a freezing morning, to undo eight centuries of the forward march of law and government.

Thus Dick Cheney, has to ridiculously assert that confirming we do or do not use any particular interrogation technique, would somehow help the terrorists.

Thus Michael Mukasey, on the eve of the vote that will make him the high priest of the law of this land, cannot and must not answer a question, nor even hint that he has thought about a question, which merely concerns the theoretical definition of water-boarding as torture.

Because, Mr. Bush, in the seven years of your nightmare presidency, this whole string of events has been transformed from its beginning as the most neglectful protection ever, of the lives and safety of the American people into the most efficient and cynical exploitation of tragedy for political gain in this country’s history.

And, then, to the giddying prospect that you could do what the military fanatics did in Japan in the 1930’s and re-make a nation into a fascist state so efficient and so self-sustaining, that the fascism would be nearly invisible.

But at last this frightful plan is ending with an unexpected crash, the shocking reality that no matter how thoroughly you might try to extinguish them, Mr. Bush, how thoroughly you tried to brand disagreement as disloyalty, Mr. Bush, there are still people like Daniel Levin who believe in the United States of America as true freedom, where we are better, not because of schemes and wars, but because of dreams and morals.

And ultimately, sir, these men, these patriots, will defeat you and they will return this country to its righteous standards, and to its rightful owners, the people.

Good night, and good luck.

Edward R. Murrow is smiling down upon this man.

DEN said...

Missed this yesterday on the 5th of November:

Gerald said...

Just a reminder! Naomi Klein is one of my foxes.

Since 2008 is Leap Year, the election will be on Tuesday, November 4, 2008.

Gerald said...

WE ARE A COUNTRY OF LAWS??? Our ruler is a mass murderer and a war criminal against humanity and he will never spend one day in prison. WE ARE COUNTRY OF LAW AND ORDER UNLESS YOU ARE PART OF THE BUSH FAMILY.

{ò,ó}arol said...

"....every life is of equal value."

Not in THIS country. Look at the health care system for one. Best health care in the world if you can afford it.

I caught an ad on the tube the past couple days for "Sicko". Michael Moore lost tons of credibility with me! The ad clearly said, "own it today or rent it exclusively at Blockbuster...."

I owned a video store for 9 years. I don't own it anymore because the big chains got all the breaks. Whereas I had to pay $73 for a new blockbuster release, places like Blockfucker got the same movie for $5.

Michael Moore, champion of the peasants, gave his rental exclusively to THEM?!?!?! He struck a deal with THEM?!?!?! He's no better than all the other self-serving, deal makers out there.

micki said...

Best health care in the world if you can afford it.

Carol, with all due respect, that is a MYTH! The United States does not have the best healthcare in the world.

We're quite accomplished with high-tech invasive medical techniques.

Other than that, we suck. IMO.

David B. Benson said...

Dunno, but I expect the best health care to be in Scandinavia.

The Japanese live long via cleanliness and diet, IMHO.

DEN said...

Judiciary Committee endorses AG nomination on 11-8 vote.

Feinslime and Screwmor voted with the Nazi/repugs.

Rotten bastards!

Think the Administration will be prosecuted for their war crimes now?


DEN said...

Ms. Feinstein,

Your vote for Mukasey has turned me against you and your lousy voting record.

Everyone I have spoken to in this area feels the same way.

Enjoy unemployment, you won't be getting my vote again, and I am not alone.



carol said...

Whatever, Micki. What I know the most about is the "if you can afford it" part.

So, if you say our health care sucks, then I suppose it sucks.

David B. Benson said...

Once more into the breech, dear friends., once more ...

The Florida governor is going to lobby congress to remove the punative import duty on ethanol. This is a good idea which ought to appeal to actual progressives, DIMOs and Repugpigs.

Kindly encourage your senators and representative to support this measure (which is surely in violation of the U.S. obligations under the WTO treaty).

DEN said...

More news:

The House of Representative is poised to table an impeachment resolution brought by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) against Vice President Dick Cheney, effectively killing the measure.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) introduced the motion to table, a maneuver used to effectively kill a measure by ending debate.

"Impeachment," Hoyer told reporters earlier, "is not on the agenda."

Leave the criminals in place so they can cause more crap worldwide, that's the ticket Stainy.

micki said...

One of the key differences between the typical American approach to "healthcare" and that of an Okinawan is that the Okinawan has a sense of independence and self-responsibility for health. A typical American has been programmed to think that the medical-industrial complex holds the key to attaining good health, through medical technology and prescription drugs.

I have little faith, and even less trust, in the overall capabilities of the medical-industrial complex in the United States.

Self-responsibility is my first line of defense.

Carey said...

Keith was incredible last night. If he were just a tiny bit older. No, I don't like his taste in clothes.

I'm on CSPAN. A repairman is finally here after we tried to fix the heater ourselves. That's where I've been.

Till further notice.

DEN said...

Pop a pill!

Away goes ill.

Thought everyone knew that.

(sarcastically he sez)

Gerald said...

A great place to visit

We ordered our cheese and fruitcake from the Abbey of Gethsemani. My wife used to make our fruitcake but it was too much work and so we order it through the Abbey and their monks. I have also been at the Abbey for a religious retreat.

Gerald said...

Keeping watch with Christ. Such is the theme of the lectionary readings at this time each year as the liturgical year comes to a close. The times are evil -- keep watch. Which is to say, exercise your faculties of contemplation. Be a visionary, a seer of peace.

Otherwise we have nothing to stand on but the culture's blindness and violence. Keep watch -- "be vigilant," according to Luke, "at all times." Pray daily, meditate, keep times of silence and solitude, read the scriptures, receive the sacraments, spend time with the good news.

David B. Benson said...

Give Steny Hoyer a piece of your mind as well.


Alan said...

No more altar boys

Most Reverend Joseph Kurtz, D.D.
Archbishop of Louisville

Your Eminence,

When I see a crisis, I think "opportunity," and that's just what I'm thinking now after reading about the arrest of Bethlehem Catholic High School principal Paul Schum. I know it doesn't look good at first reading. I mean how do you explain why one of your principals would dress up in a leather outfit, fishnet stockings, and fake breasts and go out hooking.

But think about it for a minute. A few years ago, this kind of bad news would involve charges of child molestation. I think dressing up as a woman and soliciting johns is a real step up from that, don't you?

Now I know the Church is opposed to homosexuality, I am too. Like me, I'm sure that there are many priests who think about homosexuality every second of the day, and sometimes we get to thinking about certain homosexual acts and the next thing we know we're tapping our toes on the toilet trolling for some guy in a sailor suit. It happens because Satan tempts us more than he does the less pious. And we're going to see even more of it now that the Pope has a Platinum Prada credit card and keys to a secret apartment.

So I say lets get ahead of it by establishing our own narrative. All you need to do is repeat this simple message over and over again: "Sure the Church's hierarchy may be a bunch of self-hating hypocrites, but at least we've stopped doing altar boys."

This incident with the principal provides you with a great opportunity to begin doing it now. I hope you do. I'm enclosing one of the posters I've created for a new marketing campaign I'm pitching to the Pope. Please feel free to use it.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, patriot

Alan said...

2007 Is Deadliest Year for U.S. Troops in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Nov. 6 — Six American soldiers were killed in three separate attacks Monday, the military said Tuesday, taking the number of deaths this year to 852 and making 2007 the deadliest year of the war for United States troops.
and Lieberman says : “I’m proud to say that the tide has turned in Iraq and we’re winning that war,” Lieberman said. “And if we don’t let down our troops, they’re going to bring home a victory that will protect us here at home from today’s threat — totalitarian terrorist Islamism that’s trying to take our liberty from us.”

Alan said...

Bush beats Nixon’s disapproval ratings. Sixty-four percent of Americans disapprove of the job President Bush is doing, and for “the first time in the history of the Gallup Poll, 50% say they ’strongly disapprove’ of the president. Richard Nixon had reached the previous high, 48%, just before an impeachment inquiry was launched in 1974.”

micki said...

Geez, Dr. B, with all these pieces of our mind we're giving, we're going to end up mindless!


David B. Benson said...

Chuck Schumer wrote an apologia explaining his position (and so his vote for the AG) today on the opinion page of TNYT.

It was well-written and thoughtfully done, I'll give him that...

David B. Benson said...

There is an endless supply of those pieces when one is righteously outraged.

micki said...

According to a USA Today/Gallup Poll (I think it was):

Tough talk from President Bush and Vice President Cheney about Iran's nuclear program seems to have generated concern about a potential threat and alarm about the prospect for premature U.S. military action.

In the telephone survey of 1,024 adults Friday through Sunday:

Three of four Americans say they are concerned that the United States "will not do enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons."

Oh, great.

DEN said...

We already know from a previous poll that 52% believe we should blast Iran back in time to somewhere in the 1st century.

Renegade lunatics!


micki said...

Dr. B, I believe the stench of politics wafted through Mukasey's committee hearings.

One day he said he'd resign if he was forced to implement policies that violated the Constitution and the rule of law.

The next day (presumably after the busheviks worked him over a bit), he said that he believed in the unitary executive theory, that basically gives the president preeminent, unlimited authority, particulary on matters of national security, even if that means the president chooses to disregard a certain law or laws.

Mukasey has indirectly said that if the president does it, it's legal. (a la Nixon)

Sounds to me like Schumer has it wrong -- the stench of politics runs throughout the administration, including the Department of Justice.

I doubt very much if Mukasey is going to clean up the stinking mess. He told Schumer exactly what he wanted to hear.

micki said...

From Schumer's Op/Ed apologia:

To defeat him would be to abandon the hope of instituting the many reforms called for by our investigation. No one questions that Judge Mukasey would do much to remove the stench of politics from the Justice Department. I believe we should give him that chance.

Carey said...

Okay, first, this whole post has been sort of written in sections, so excuse it, please. Been a little distracted.

Micki, they have clearly won, Bush/Cheney. Cheney has so determined it.

Carol and Gerald, I hope you're okay and warm. The weather news from your neck of the woods is frightful.

I want to preface the following by this: I'm a complete believer in holistic, eastern, all attempts to keep the body healthy, of course.

Naturally, the key word strewn through this whole debate is PREVENTION. Yes, the west is way too invasive in their ways. Way too dominated by panacea drug usage, a.k.a. moneymaker and expensive, easier surgeries that are unnessessary or, after-the-fact. They're dominated by insurance company-type thinking, er, capitalism.

Carol, I think we're dealing with definitions, perhaps. Our superior medical technology is incredible but misguided and we have experts in everything.

The healthcare industry, dominated solely by insurance companies, sucks. Hence the name of the movie, Sicko. Healthcare should not be a profit industry, it is sick. It is a part of a diseased body, sick with capitalism feeding upon itself.

I defend Michael Moore. He's tries as hard as he can and he's effective. That's the point, always. True dedication. I came out of that movie and, once again, remembered the genius of Moore. He gets the damn message lodged into the heart of filmgoers. Witness the amount of people deeply affected by An Inconvenient Truth. Moore's an incredibly perceptive activist/artist. These are his weapons of choice and I applaud him.

A professional activist with his heart on his arm. Again, most importantly, he gets the job done. A damn yankee socialist, he just doesn't know it.

Have you met media conglomeration? Moore doesn't have much of a choice of how he distributes his movies. He has no control over that, the monopoly does.

Our family-owned magazine, once sold, eventually became owned by a luxury-magazine conglomerate.

Have you been in a Starbucks lately? Ignoring their lucious desserts, at their counters are displays of musicians' wares sold exclusively through one particular company alone. Then, there's the most recent upchuck-laucher, Rupert Murdoch and The Wall Street Journal.

That's how it works in the entertainment/communication business now. Totally monopolized.

My heater will be fixed Friday. I'm appropriately attired.

Oh, and Den, Klein's essay was remarkably devastating.

David B. Benson said...

Micki --- You will note that I didn't say he convinced me.

He has a good essay writier on his staff but he doesn't seem to be the most astute of even the current crop of congresscritters.

None with the stature of, say, Moynihan...

micki said...

Carol -- I think whoever produced that ad was misusing the word "exclusively" because one can buy "Sicko" from or rent it from Netflix.

There are probably other distribution points also.

micki said...

Dr. B -- You will note that I didn't say he convinced me.

I did note that.

In fact, I was impressed with the writing also but I'M STILL STEAMED ABOUT THIS NOMINATION so that's why I commented on it.

Carey said...


You'd be hardput to find the likes of another Moynihan.


Have you heard about the Seattle town meeting on the proposed radical changes by that new FCC asshole (I never remember the names)? He's pushing for completion of his agenda (ridding obstacles to local media cross-monopolization by Dec. 18th? It's the last chance meeting. It's either tonight or some upcoming Tuesday. It was on the Moyers show and I heard about it, I'm sure on morning radio.

It might have already been discussed here. I haven't caught up. It's cold in this room. The house slants it's so old and fallen down, so the sliding door doesn't completely close properly.

While I was walking and heard of the Seattle meeting, I reminisced about the great protest in Seattle against corporate globalism back in....when was it? In the nineties?


Thank you for providing another opportunity to actually read Olbermann. His hero is Edward R. Murrow and you can't go wrong there.

He hasn't.

David B. Benson said...

Micki --- If you are steamed about it, write to more senators, even Repugs and DINOs.

Is Senator Cantwell a DINO?

micki said...

Carey, I am aware of the FCC meeting...but not able to attend.

Dear micki,

This is the Last Chance to Make the Public's Voice Heard.

Attend the FCC Hearing in Seattle

The FCC is hoping you won't show up at Friday's media ownership hearing in Seattle. But we know you will.

At the end of last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it will hold its final official public hearing on media ownership in Seattle. This is the public's last chance to weigh in on the state of the media -- so it's critical for you to be there:

FCC Public Hearing on Media Ownership
Date: Friday, Nov. 9
Time: 4 p.m. - 11 p.m. (show up early and sign up to speak)
Location: Town Hall
1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle
More Information:

The announcement of this hearing comes after revelations that Chairman Martin is trying to sneak through a massive giveaway to Big Media before the end of the year. There's already too much power in the hands of too few -- and it's time that the FCC listened to you!

This hearing in Seattle is your chance to speak out. It's free and open to the public and will feature an open microphone session for you to tell the FCC how the media are serving your community. Click here for fact sheets and flyers that provide useful tips on testifying.

Tell Your Friends About the Seattle Hearing

This hearing is a rare chance to participate directly in creating media policies that serve your community. Make your voice heard -- Join us on Friday!

See you there!

Timothy Karr
Campaign Director
Free Press

P.S. Check out Bill Moyers' coverage of the previous ownership hearing in Chicago and what's happening at the FCC. Visit

micki said...

Is Senator Cantwell a DINO?

I wouldn't put her in that category, even though she has cast some votes that have displeased me.'s not all about me. :-)

Carey said...

Roger on the letter David.

Mukasey has indirectly said that if the president does it, it's legal. (a la Nixon)

Hartmann certainly pounded on that one.

Micksters, Ted Kennedy gave a stirring speech--I heard blips of it. He tried to remind his listeners of who we Americans once were. It seems long lost.

Carey said...

It is monumentally shattering.

micki said...

Hospital infections are now the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease, cancer and strokes, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

micki said...

My, aren't we the happy little bunch today?

David B. Benson said...


The thing about the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur.


But I'm crying inside: this is our Prez speaking...

Carey said...

Someone said today that Bush Sr.'s people put Bush boy in place via the Supreme Court to give permanent cover to Bush family crimes.

Iran-Contra has outlying veins everywhere. It is an enormous part of this current situation. Bush Sr. cronies were worried.


Gerald is so correct.

micki said...

Preventable hospital errors cause 195,000 U.S. deaths a year, twice as many as previously believed, according to a recent nationwide study of Medicare data. (Health Grades, Inc., Patient Safety in American Hospitals (2004) .)

David B. Benson said...

Oh yes. Before I forget.

Be sure to give Nancy Pelosi a wide strip of your mind: ask her if she has no shame, no conscience.

Ask her why she is not upholding her oath of office, ask her...

David B. Benson said...

Don't go to the hospital!

Have it come to you...


micki said...

"I got a lot of Ph.D.-types and smart people around me who come into the Oval Office and say, 'Mr. President, here's what's on my mind.' And I listen carefully to their advice. But having gathered the device, I decide, you know, I say, 'This is what we're going to do.' "—George W. Bush, Lancaster, Pa., Oct. 3, 2007

micki said...

"All of us in America want there to be fairness when it comes to justice."—Geroge W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Sept. 20, 2007

Carey said...

Geez. As he sinks deeper into unreality, Bush can't hear himself. A symptom of psychosis.

Hospital infections=profit. More sick people. More drugs to sell. Insurance profits soar.

The vicious, ravenous eating of oneself. Capitalism is in its last stages. There will be no way out BUT socialized medicine.

Swallow it now. Wipe out the need for the health insurance industry you morons.

I sound like Dennis Kucinich.

We hope against hope the necessary changes will occur.

Carey said...


Your link on "Your Eminence" doesn't work.

©¿rol said...

"Carol -- I think whoever produced that ad was misusing the word "exclusively" because one can buy "Sicko" from or rent it from Netflix."

They have it set up so yes, you can buy the thing and get it from Netflix if you say so, but no other video store BUT Blockfucker has it. It's the new way of doing business. I decided to call the video store in town and the girl there said this has happened with a couple other titles where Blockfucker gets them first for a couple weeks, then everyone else gets them.

I'll get to see it yet. I certainly don't want to buy the damn thing!

DEN said...

Carey, thanks for noticing Naomi Klein, and KO, feedback every now and then lets me know I'm still not too far off the rails.

Wanted: Good used straight-jacket, must have instructions for use and be in usable shape, apply within.


David B. Benson said...

Den --- Sorry. All straight-jackets are being shipped to within the beltway.

David B. Benson said...

The ship of state: steered by the demented and captained by the dotty...

DEN said...

Oh look!

An Iceberg dead ahead!

Aw, it melted already.

micki said...

My only point was that one can rent Sicko someplace other than Blockbuster, so whoever produced and PAID FOR that ad claiming it was an "exclusive" is a LIAR.

We have it on our list @ Netflix, that's how I know it's available. I'm not just saying so.

micki said...

Den, I was remiss in not mentioning Naomi Klein's article. Thanks for calling it to our attention.

I only read Keith Olbermann's comments (never see him) because we don't sign up for Fox, CNN, or MSNBC or any of those channels.

So, thanks for that, too!

DEN said...

Always looking for the cutting edge stories and stuff you might miss.

Fun stuff!

David B. Benson said...

Yeh, Den, but there are the rocks...

carol said...

"We have it on our list @ Netflix, that's how I know it's available. I'm not just saying so."

Jesus Christ, that's what I meant! You know something about Netflix, I know nothing and have never seen a list of theirs. I WAS TAKING YOUR WORD FOR IT. "If you say so."

Sometimes, I swear it's like you're trying your best to be argumentative.

micki said...


Alan said...


Your link on "Your Eminence" doesn't work.

K, that first one for "your eminence" was just a "mail to:" link, but I screwed it up. Lemme try it again.

Your Eminence

I THINK it'll work now, but if not... just go here and scroll down a little bit. That way you can see the poster of the pope hawking the "f**k-me pumps".

Alan said...

That's strange. The "mail to:" link worked on "preview", but not when you post it. I tried it TWICE, and it opened Word with an email addressed already.

Alan said...

I'm listening now, to Kucinich’s "impeachment" speech.

micki said...

From the Boston Globe Online --Thus spake His Excellency Rudy Mussolini:

Giuliani laughed when asked if he would ever release a list of clients involved with his consulting firm, Giuliani Partners.

"Everything I did with Giuliani Partners has been totally legal, totally ethical. They are a very ethical and law-abiding business. ... There's nothing for me to explain about it. We've acted honorably, decently."

Will the media press Rudy for answers on what business his company did for Qatar?

micki said...

In the Texas Panhandle, just two people were eligible to vote to confirm the creation of a freshwater supply district in Roberts County that would help billionaire Boone Pickens deliver water to growing North Texas communities.

The two voters? Pickens' ranch manager and his wife.