Jul 31, 2011

LENIN ON THE TIMELESS STRUGGLE

We are marching in a compact group along a precipitous and difficult path, firmly holding each other by the hand. We are surrounded on all sides by enemies, and we have to advance almost constantly under their fire. We have combined, by a freely adopted decision, for the purpose of fighting the enemy, and not of retreating into the neighboring marsh, the inhabitants of which, from the very outset, have reproached us with having separated ourselves into an exclusive group and with having chosen the path of struggle instead of the path of conciliation. And now some among us begin to cry out: Let us go into the marsh! And when we begin to shame them, they retort: What backward people you are! Are you not ashamed to deny us the liberty to invite you to take a better road! Oh, yes, gentlemen! You are free not only to invite us, but to go yourselves wherever you will, even into the marsh. In fact, we think that the marsh is your proper place, and we are prepared to render you every assistance to get there. Only let go of our hands, don’t clutch at us and don’t besmirch the grand word freedom, for we too are “free” to go where we please, free to fight not only against the marsh, but also against those who are turning towards the marsh!

Lenin, What Is To Be Done?, “Dogmatism And ‘Freedom of Criticism’” (1901)

IF MOVIES WERE REAL 2

...AND ANOTHER THING!

I wonder who the first talking head was that used the ubiquitous term "First of All," when answering a question. I don't know about you, but if I was having a discussion with someone and they responded to a question by saying "First of All," that discussion would quickly end, and it wouldn't be pretty. It's so blatantly insulting and so obviously diversionary that we wouldn't tolerate it in our face to face discourse. On television, however, it's the most common response across all spectra of ideology. There are so many other ways to answer a question without ceding one's position, that I would be totally in favor of banning it altogether. So there!

Shawn Mullins - yellow dog song

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

I'm sick to death of hearing politicians and talking heads of all persuasions continually refer to "The American People," when what they mean is "Everyone who agrees with me." There is no "American People!" We are a polyglot mix unlike any other country on earth and to imply that we think or act as one is simply disingenuous. I can't help but remember Hitler's chant of "Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuehrer!" every time I hear that phrase. We are not, and never have been the homogenous mass that Germany was in the 1930's and I wish we could see more attention paid to that wonderful diversity, and not the robotic references of recent public discourse, designed to inveigle.

Jul 29, 2011

Blazing Saddles, Camp Town Ladies

Cheat Sheet - Boehner's Debt Ceiling Meltdown

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Date: Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 9:04 AM
Subject: Cheat Sheet - Boehner's Debt Ceiling Meltdown
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The Daily Beast
JULY 29, 2011
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MELTDOWN
1.John Boehner's Debt Debacle

Despite a long day and night of threats and arm-twisting, John Boehner couldn't get the votes to pass his own debt bill. Some conservatives declared the bill "not good enough" and "too small," while others had wondered aloud why they would vote for an imperfect bill in the House, only to see it killed in the Senate. The Daily Beast's Patricia Murphy on the debacle that forced the House speaker to withdraw his measure.

Read it at The Daily Beast

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CAHOOTS
2.U.S.: Iran in Alliance with Al Qaeda

For the first time, the U.S. has formally accused Iran of entering into an alliance with al Qaeda. The Treasury Department described an extensive Iran-based fundraising operation designed to funnel money and weapons to al Qaeda's forces in Pakistan and Afghanistan. U.S. officials say that Iran is helping al Qaeda, despite differences in religious beliefs, to assert control in the region after the U.S. departs. The Treasury issued sanctions against six people it says are heading al Qaeda's fundraising network with the support of Iranian authorities. Iran denied the claims.

Read it at The Wall Street Journal

CONFESSIONS
3.Soldier Admits to Ft. Hood Attack Plot

Close call. The Army says that Pfc. Naser Abdo, the soldier who was caught on Thursday with weapons and a bomb inside his backpack, has admitted to planning to attack Fort Hood. Oddly, though, Abdo had previously spoken out against the 2009 Fort Hood shootings. In an essay, he wrote that the shootings, in which an American-Muslim gunman killed 13 people, went against his beliefs, calling the attack "an act of aggression by a man and not by Islam." Police said they were able to catch Abdo after receiving a tip from a clerk at Guns Galore LLC, where Abdo attempted to purchase six pounds of smokeless gun powder, three boxes of shotgun ammunition, and a magazine for a semi-automatic pistol.

Read it at The Associated Press

FOLLOWUP
4.Bush Explains Reaction to 9/11 Attacks

He might have overshot the mark. In an interview with National Geographic Television, former President George W. Bush explains his much-criticized blank reaction to the news of the September 11 terrorist attacks as his attempt at projecting calm. Describing getting the news while visiting a Florida classroom, he says: "My first reaction was anger. Who the hell would do that to America? Then I immediately focused on the children, and the contrast between the attack and the innocence of children." Then he realized a lot of people would be watching his reaction. "So I made the decision not to jump up immediately and leave the classroom. I didn't want to rattle the kids. I wanted to project a sense of calm."

Read it at Reuters

HAVEN
5.Alleged Rape Victim Comes to U.S.

Eman al-Obeidy, who got the world's attention when she ran into a Tripoli hotel and accused Gaddafi's forces of detaining and raping her, has made her way to the United States. After spending 54 days in a U.N. Refugee facility in Romania, Obeidy arrived in New York before going on to her final destination. Other than telling a CNN producer that she wanted to thank Hillary Clinton, Obeidy said she is not ready to speak to the media. After being dragged from the Tripoli hotel in March, Obeidy escaped to Tunisia with the help of a defecting army officer, and then moved to Qatar. But she was deported and sent back to Libya shortly thereafter.

Read it at CNN

Latest-Cheat-Sheet
STEPPING OUT
DSK Maid Makes First Public Speech
Asks, "Why me?" at Brooklyn church meeting.

TERRORISM
Bomb Hits Afghan Minibus
Nineteen dead, including 12 children.

DIPLOMACY
U.S. Meets With North Korea
Gauging seriousness about abandoning nuke program.

RETURNS
Tiger Woods Will Golf Next Week
But his ranking plummeted after 11-week break.

PETS
No One Will Adopt Hitler Cat
Staff at charity blames 'stache markings.

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