halialkers: A portrait of myself including the blotch-pattern inherited from Mom (Maxidren)
I think too often these days politics is affected by a simple unwillingness to either see or to face up to the factors that mark it for what it is in a crude, effective pattern. Politics is governed to ol' Under L by a simple, crude, harsh dictum: whoever provides the most efficient application of force, his (and it's generally been a he, politics is only recently accepting that women have after all been just as good at leading states into war as men have. The 18th Century and before warmongers who were women who ruled states generally get short shrift in that discussion but this isn't the space for that) is the determining arbiter of what is acceptable/good, and unacceptable/evil.

Politics as such amounts to dressing up evil in such a fashion that it becomes not good but acceptable to a sufficiently large number of people. It is this that is ultimately behind such hypocrisy as declaring the extermination of most of the Native Americans and the reduction of their survivors to poor, impoverished minorities regardless of how numerous they actually are or not, and it is also this that's why things like the Atlantic Slave Trade and Trail of Tears are held to be things that peoples affected by them should get over, where the Holocaust and Nazi atrocities should never be forgotten. The deeds themselves, the sheer death toll involved, is irrelevant. What matters is the degree to which the atrocities are deemed to affect those people who "matter." The Holocaust, I should emphasize, truly is unique and outside the scale of other genocides insofar as it was an industrial process, taking the bureaucratic process of the state, taking the industrial process behind the rise of the West, and making both turned to producing quantities of corpses. Other genocides are more sporadic, and while well-planned, do not show the particular Hitlerian emphasis on bureaucracy as their modus operandi, relying on things like radio networks and privately hiring people to do things like exterminating the local pesky Aborigines when they're not exactly helping the cause of Manifest Destiny (see: Tasmania. This was, incidentally, a major inspiration for the War of the Worlds).

Under L also wishes to emphasize that in saying this, Under L is absolutely not endorsing this. I would not go into politics for just this reason, with this kind of viewpoint I would not make an effective leader in any sense other than making myself rich at the expense of others by making money hand over fist, working within an evil system to perpetuate it. Going into politics would be a Bad IdeaTM for me for just this reason.

At the same time, I am increasingly convinced that the only law that unifies societies across time and space is that force is the arbiter of all things, a savage, brutal, cruel arbiter whose very savageness goes far to explain the half-steps and clumsy stumbling that makes up so much of the change in human history, as well as why the elites that made and wrote the definitions of and shaped societies are invariably violent. I would also like to emphasize, related to the paragraph above this, that this is why I say that those who worship force the most are those least equipped to use it well. The converse that force is the ultimate arbiter of all things is that it is possible to indeed resort to force, but to fuck it up so badly that the people who do this are deservedly on the garbage dump of history. In this category belong people like the leaders of the Confederacy, Nicholas II, Franz Josef (every single time, no less), Adolf Hitler, Yasser Arafat, Hajj Amin Al-Husseini, Solano Lopez, and a great many other monsters of  history. Yes, I call them monsters, and it's because they took the step to unleash all the horrors of force, and provided great terror and destruction with no "redeeming" aspects of it altogether.

At the same time, I should finally emphasize that for all this I am no pacifist. War and its attendant horrors are certainly necessary at times. Reality being what it is, this will always be the case. But to bring war on a false premise, in any fashion, is however the most disgusting and vile act a leader can engage in to me of any state. Nixon, Johnston, Bush, Wilhelm II, they are all to me examples of this kind of leader. *Because* reality is determined by force, it must be used only wisely, not for a lark or for the purpose of force in itself. To do otherwise is the action of those who scar bodies, who mangle minds, who harm limbs and extremities for the purposes of their own egos. And that act to me no-one of conscience can condone. And it is for that reason I also oppose capital punishment, as it to me is the irrational use of force, where the state is concerned. A state that indulges in the death penalty is given power that it should not have, unless there is a damned good reason for it having it. In a modern society that reason does not exist.

This probably reads a lot more disjointed and herky-jerky than it sounded, so if you read all this, take a platter of whatever cookie you prefer.
halialkers: Anzaea in brighter colors, blotches orange mouth, diagonal right arm/thumb, semicircle left arm (Anzaea)
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/200705-sen-corker-says-gopers-need-to-pass-payroll-extension-and-move-on

Yet another example of magnificent bastardy from President Obama. This time he's rope-a-doped the GOP into a set of three options, one bad: passing the current two-month extension and giving the POTUS control of the 2012 season's agenda, passing a year-long extension and giving the President a parliamentary coup, or not passing it and giving the POTUS an easy means to start steering the agenda of the 2012 campaign to the detriment of all the Republicans. This is why I again think that when Obama's term(s) is/are through that people will start realizing he was one of the most savvy Presidents of modern times, but in a subtle and undramatic fashion in comparison to the clown that preceded him. Well, I suppose calling Shrub a clown is an insult to a noble profession in circuses.

halialkers: (Default)
Western Europe will send a grand total of 15 soldiers after the US and Canada have already done the rest, claim all the credit for it, and not acknowledge the US presence. The hypocritical assclowns that run that continent have earned no respect after 8 years of shafting Bush and now they give Obama nothing, despite the fact that Obama's gonna be a one-termer if he keeps on at the present rate of alienating everybody and his brother....fuck Europe up the ass without lube with an oak branch. Give us Ivan and the Chinese, and Afghanistan will be pacified in six months. Give us John Bull and the German Eagle, Afghanistan will be getting far worse and any round of fighting two provinces away from European soldiers will provoke squawks of fear. They didn't do jack shit for the South Slavs and we expect them to help us out?

*Growlsnarlmutter.*

halialkers: (Default)
When men preach hate to their political opponents and declare political disagreements to be worthy of death, and when people regularly accuse newspapers of treason and joke about giving the editors rat poison, this is what ye sow from what ye have reaped, and may thine eyes forswear to deny this:

_APRIL 4, PITTSBURGH — A gunman wearing a bulletproof vest opens fire on officers responding to a domestic disturbance call, killing three of them. Police say Richard Poplawski, 23, had been upset about losing his job and feared the Obama administration was poised to ban guns

Now.....who has been calling this administration traitors and wishing they should fail? Behold what ye have created. And if ye should deny this, thine protestations are mute.

Yeah, the use of Shakespearean English was deliberate, folks.


halialkers: (Default)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Waitangi

^This particular Forgotten Good marks the rare time that a colonial power conquered and ruled another people and then more or less abided by the terms of a treaty it imposed. This treaty also recognized Maori sovereignty (though that's somewhat disputed). Colonialism was more or less an evil in the broader scheme of things, but it did have its redeeming moments. This is one of them.
halialkers: (Default)
Whoever wins, the American people are fucked for the next four years. >.<
halialkers: (Default)
RNC appears to shell out $150K for Palin fashion


The Republican National Committee appears to have spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.

According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.

The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.

The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.

Politico asked the McCain campaign for comment, explicitly noting the $150,000 in expenses for department store shopping and makeup consultation that were incurred immediately after Palin’s announcement. Pre-September reports do not include similar costs.

Spokeswoman Maria Comella declined to answer specific questions about the expenditures, including whether it was necessary to spend that much and whether it amounted to one early investment in Palin or if shopping for the vice presidential nominee was ongoing.
Slideshow

Palin Fashion

“The campaign does not comment on strategic decisions regarding how financial resources available to the campaign are spent," she said.

The business of primping and dressing on the campaign trail has become fraught with political risk in recent years as voters increasingly see an elite Washington out of touch with their values and lifestyles.

In 2000, Democrat Al Gore took heat for changing his clothing hues. And in 2006, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) was ribbed for two hair styling sessions that cost about $3,000.

Then, there was Democrat John Edwards’ $400 hair cuts in 2007 and Republican McCain’s $520 black leather Ferragamo shoes this year.

A review of similar records for the campaign of Democrat Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee turned up no similar spending.

But all the spending by other candidates pales in comparison to the GOP outlay for the Alaska governor whose expensive, designer outfits have been the topic of fashion pages and magazines.

What hasn’t been apparent is where the clothes came from – her closet back in Wasilla or from the campaign coffers in Washington.

The answer can be found inside the RNC’s September monthly financial disclosure report under “itemized coordinated expenditures.”

It’s a report that typically records expenses for direct mail, telephone calls and advertising. Those expenses do show up, but the report also has a new category of spending: “campaign accessories.”

September payments were also made to Barney’s New York ($789.72) and Bloomingdale’s New York ($5,102.71).

Macy’s in Minneapolis, another store fortunate enough to be situated in the Twin Cities that hosted last summer’s Republican National Convention, received three separate payments totaling $9,447.71.

The entries also show a few purchases at Pacifier, a top notch baby store, and Steiniauf & Stroller Inc., suggesting $295 was spent to accommodate the littlest Palin to join the campaign trail.

An additional $4,902.45 was spent at Atelier, a high-class shopping destination for men.
Read more stories in Politics '08.


STALIN SMASH PUNY CAPITALISM!!!!!

In all seriousness, I just gave up any support I might once have had the slightest possibility of having for McCain-Palin (mostly out of a desire for a quick, simple death as opposed to a dragged-out, messy one). And anyone that defends the Republicans as in any way smacking of fiscal conservatism can STFU.
halialkers: (Default)

House votes down bail-out package

Advertisement

The moment the vote was declared

The lower house of the US Congress has voted down a $700bn (£380bn) plan aimed at bailing out Wall Street.

The rescue plan, a result of tense talks between the government and lawmakers, was rejected by 228 to 205 votes in the House of Representatives.

About two-thirds of Republican lawmakers refused to back the rescue package, as well as 95 Democrats.

Shares on Wall Street plunged within seconds of the announcement, after earlier falls on global markets.

A White House spokesman said that President George W Bush was "very disappointed" by the result.

A US Treasury spokesman said that Mr Bush, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would meet to discuss the way forward.

The vote followed a day of turmoil in the financial sector.

  • Wachovia, the fourth-largest US bank, was bought by larger rival Citigroup in a rescue deal backed by US authorities
  • Benelux banking giant Fortis was partially nationalised by the Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg governments to ensure its survival
  • The UK government announced it was nationalising the Bradford & Bingley bank
  • Global shares fell sharply - France's key index lost 5%, Germany's main market dropped 4% while US shares plunged after the vote result was announced.

As news of the vote came through, traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange stood dumbfounded.

Analysts say that without a bail-out the banks will be left to handle all their own bad mortgage debt as best they can and more of them will be in danger of going bust.

Blame game

So grave are the consequences of this decision, reports the BBC's Kevin Connolly from Washington, that the speaker of the house paused for several long minutes after the vote was taken before declaring it official.

The no vote plunged the world of Washington politics into turmoil and the markets into deep and instant chaos, our correspondent says.

Mr Bush had argued that the bail-out plan was a "bold" one which he was confident would restore strength and confidence to the US economy.

 

HAVE YOUR SAY
I am glad the bailout bill failed. I work five days a week, save cash and pay my bills. I did not want to pay for Corporate America's greed
Lisa, Baltimore

But after a several hours of impassioned debate, the bill's opponents - the majority of whom were from the Republican Party - got their way.

They had raised concerns about both the content of the plan and the speed with which they were being asked to pass it.

Some agreement on issues such as oversight, greater protection for taxpayers and curbs on executive bonuses had been reached in fraught weekend talks.

These concessions, however, ultimately failed to persuade enough lawmakers that the plan was in the best interests of the nation.

Speaking after the vote, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives suggested the Democrats were to blame, accusing them of failing to mobilise their majority in the chamber.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama spoke shortly after the vote, saying it was an outrage that ordinary people were being asked to clean up Wall Street's mess.

"If I am president I will review the entire plan on the day I take office to make sure that it is working to save our economy and (that) you get your money back," he said.

He added that he expected Congress to pass a bail-out bill in some form and called for calm, although he admitted the path could be a difficult one.

Lawmakers from both parties called for further talks on new bail-out legislation.

Frantic steps will now be taken to get some kind of amended version of the bill through Congress, our correspondent says.

But, he adds, this vote would have shaken the confidence of the financial world and the ability of America's leaders to come up with convincing answers at a moment of crisis.


OK, 95 fucking Dems against? 65 GOP for?

The Hell? At least McCain's idea blew up in his face.
 

halialkers: (Default)
Off goes the head of the king, and tyranny gives way to freedom. The change seems abysmal. Then, bit by bit, the face of freedom hardens, and by and by it is the old face of tyranny. Then another cycle, and another. But under the play of all these opposites there is something fundamental and permanent — the basic delusion that men may be governed and yet be free.

and:

Human life is basically a comedy. Even its tragedies often seem comic to the spectator, and not infrequently they actually have comic touches to the victim. Happiness probably consists largely in the capacity to detect and relish them. A man who can laugh, if only at himself, is never really miserable.

and:

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.

and lastly,:

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people

This guy got more good quotes in one lifetime than many cultures do in a millenium.


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