[Welcome Bread and Roses readers -- lambert]
Boris at the Canadian blog (Canada is up to its eyebrows in Afghanistan) The Galloping Beaver has an instructive take on why colonial wars like the ones in Afghanistan and/or northwestern Pakistan are so futile.
...Tahira Abdullah posits a hell of a problem for anyone involved who does not favour the Taleban: What is to be done?
To all those Americans who wish they had the benefits or protection of Canadian citizenship, well, the value of the above has dropped like a stone in recent history, and none so obviously as with the current absurd Abousfian Abdelrazik episode. The poor man has a family in Canada, is a Canadian citizen by refugee asylum, and has been stuck in a Kafkaesque multiyear nightmare starting with imprisonment and torture by the Sudanese government, and ending with his residence at the Canadian embassy in Khartoum, which will not offer him a passport to return to Canada. Read more about Canada's completely ridiculous government
In one of these freakonomical perverse results, apparently right-wing memes about socialism have been overused and are hence rebounding against them. Via Yglesias:
Only 53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 20% disagree and say socialism is better. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are not sure which is better. Adults under 30 are essentially evenly divided: 37% prefer capitalism, 33% socialism, and 30% are undecided.
Trawling through the Pravda web site reveals more juicy amusingness. Yes, I know, it is not news that it is a buffet of nuttiness. This time it is Sir Cabbagemallet, keeping the dream alive:
Having thus bravely rallied the international community and summoned the United Nations -- a fiction and a farce, respectively -- what was Obama's further response? The very next day, his defense secretary announced drastic cuts in missile defense, including halting further deployment of Alaska-based interceptors designed precisely to shoot down North Korean ICBMs. Such is the "realism" Obama promised to restore to U.S. foreign policy.
Can we all take a moment for a mocking chuckle at the hard right thinktankazoids? Jesse Taylor has an entertaining take on Ramesh Ponnuru's plan for expanding health insurance. Read more about "What a curious mystery this all is!"
This, by the way, was buried deep in the biz section of the WaPo web site, but it was front and center on the print edition, a copy of which I managed to get my hands on today. Just so you know what the federal government was reading today.
If I were willing to spend the time, I'd have photoshopped his head onto Jamie Bamber's body. In *that* scene. BSG fans know what scene I am talking about.
The comments aren't bad, though. Read more about Helicopter Ben: EXTRA DREAMY
Brad DeLong has, this morning, put up a rather oblique post citing the lyrics of a classic song (Last.fm Chumbawumba song link) about Nedd Ludd. And immediately after, one about Swing. I can hardly imagine the motivation for it at this moment.
Wikipedia has this interesting comment about the Luddites that may put Brad's post into a certain perspective:
Thompson argues that it was the newly-introduced economic system that the Luddites were protesting. For example, the Luddite song, "General Ludd's Triumph":
So I was planning to write a long, witty song-and-dance about a theme to which I've occasionally alluded lately: the importance of globalization in this bailout crisis. But then I decided I'd spare the words and write it out as a few easy and very approximate steps.
1. American wages rise with unionization. Capital is captive and cannot go on strike, must actually innovate. Read more about The bailout as epiphenomenon; or, how globalization kicked my puppy
Brad DeLong is one of the few liberal(ish) economists willing to stick his neck out and spend his personal credibility as a blogger and academic economist on the bailout plan. For him, apparently, there are only two options: paying off the bankers works, and we are able to dig ourselves out of a Depression, or the Depression falls into apocalypse. However, apparently he's willing to stake his reputation on the former hypothesis:
Some of you may have noticed that a certain recent thread has been embroiled in the endless discussion of the primary and the general, and 11-dimensional chess, and progressive A-list bloggers and so on and so forth. It would be pointless not to acknowledge at the outset that that isn't the initial motivation for writing this post. And some of my critics are ultimately correct in pointing out after a certain point, it's not productive. So let's abstract away from it for a moment. Read more about Power and process
At Pandagon, Jesse Taylor recently had an appendectomy and has been undergoing a Kafkaesque (I keep using this word, truly we are in the era of fatal paradoxes...) billing nightmare:
So, in the latest update in my appendectomy idiocy: I’m in collections for $16,040.
Every time I call my insurance company, they tell me they’ve contacted the hospital “for information”. Every time I contact the hospital, they say they’re “waiting for information” from the insurance company. When I ask for supervisors, they tell me they can’t do anything until they “get information”.
The phrase "uniquely American" is, to me, key in understanding the ideological predicament of any attempt at efficient delivery of public services in the United States, particularly but not only in the area of health delivery. It represents not merely a nationalistic claim of a need for difference from the effective policy solutions of other countries, but a shorthand for a more specific ideological claim. Read more about "Uniquely American": exceptionalism, capitalism, ideology
Via goddammitkitty, who sometimes used to post around here until real life made her cut back. Language a bit NSFW for workplaces where you are forbidden from using vernacular terms to discuss excrement: