Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Freedom for capital, not people

Neil Reynolds today demonstrates the traditional fondness of right wing libertarians for dictatorial authoritarian regimes with a column expressing almost unalloyed admiration for Singapore, a country even Reynolds is forced to admit is severely authoritarian.

Some may be surprised at how a self professed libertarian could seem so enthusiastic about a borderline totalitarian state with pervasive, constant surveillance, barbaric criminal law and a rigidly authoritarian state apparatus.  Silly rabbit, right wing libertarians don't want liberty for people, people sometimes use liberty to band together against the depredations of capital, and capital is the only thing Reynolds and his ilk want liberty for.  Capital and those who have it.

That's why right wing libertarians still profess misty eyed admiration for the murderous regime of General Pinochet in Chile, who came to power through a violent coup of an elected government and then used that power to decimate civil society ruthlessly suppressing unions, leftists and any and all opposition to his 'libertarian' economic agenda through torture, death squads and 'disappearences'.

So-called 'Free Markets' are the only freedom Reynolds gets passionate about, free people can become obstructive to that freedom through quaint concerns about the environment or workers rights or a decent social safety net and that's a freedom he seems to believe should be discouraged

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"There is nobody who got rich on his own."

Elizabeth Warren utterly shreds moronic 'class war' rhetoric:
“I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever,’” Warren said. “No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody.

“You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did.

“Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless — keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

Monday, September 12, 2011

Paul Krugman is 100% right

The Right have gone mad with rage at Paul Krugman's 9/11 post.  It's far too honest.
Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?

Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.

What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.

A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?

The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.

I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons.
The most specious complaint is the disrespect card, like Krugman I would argue its far more disrespectful to those who died that day and in the Neo-con wars of choice since to perpetuate the mythology that allowed them.

I have no time for the 9/11 'Truthers'.  I believe 9/11 happened because 19 pissed off Muslims with x-acto knives made it happen, where we agree is that the Neo-con regime in the White House did leap on the terrible events of that day to perpetuate their own ideological agenda at the expense of hundreds of thousands of lives since that day.

9/11 was used to perpetuate lies and death and torture and vanished freedoms.  It baffles me that there can even be any argument about any of this.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Ted Morton's Email Cover-up

Ted Morton, the candidate of the far right for leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives who has touted his 'open and honest' approach to governance used a pseudonym email address, seemingly to thwart public access to his official ministerial communications.
Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Ted Morton used a covert email for his internal communications while he was a government minister to evade potential public scrutiny, documents confirm.

Emails leaked to CBC News show Morton used the name Frederick Lee – his actual first and middle names – as an official government email address while he was minister of Sustainable Resource Development (SRD).

At a July 2007 meeting, the ministry’s communications director gave SRD staff an explanation as to why Morton used the email address.

“She informed us that if you see an email with the moniker Frederick Lee, not to worry about it, it was just the minister using that email when he didn’t want people to know it was him doing the writing,” former staff member Derrick Forsythe says.

Another ministry employee confirmed staff were told about Morton’s use of Frederick Lee for his internal communications.

Forsythe left the ministry several months later over what he characterized as ethical differences, including Morton’s use of an email alias, and the expectation that staff were to co-operate with this obfuscation.

“I thought it was wrong,” Forsythe says. “It never quite sat right with me … that he could use an email that wasn’t known to the public.”

"If you have a monopoly on God, you can get away with anything."

Rolling Stone's lacerating piece on the clergy abuse scandal should be the final nail in the 'few bad apples' defense as it lays out in detail the highly organized long standing policy of protecting and enabling abusers. 
The five co-defendants sit close enough to shake hands in the Philadelphia courtroom, but they never once acknowledge one another. Father James Brennan, a 47-year-old priest accused of raping a 14-year-old boy, looks sad and stooped in a navy sweater, unshaven and sniffling. Edward Avery, a defrocked priest in his sixties, wears an unsettlingly pleasant expression on his face, as though he's mentally very far away. He and two other defendants – the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, also in his sixties, and Bernard Shero, a former Catholic schoolteacher in his forties – are accused of passing around "Billy," a fifth-grade altar boy. According to the charges, the three men raped and sodomized the 10-year-old, sometimes making him perform stripteases or getting him drunk on sacramental wine after Mass.
Heinous as the accusations are, the most shocking – and significant – are those against the fifth defendant, Monsignor William Lynn. At 60, Lynn is portly and dignified, his thin lips pressed together and his double chin held high. In a dramatic fashion statement, he alone has chosen to wear his black clerical garb today, a startling reminder that this is a priest on trial, a revered representative of the Catholic Church, not to mention a high-ranking official in Philadelphia's archdiocese. Lynn, who reported directly to the cardinal, was the trusted custodian of a trove of documents known in the church as the "Secret Archives files." The files prove what many have long suspected: that officials in the upper echelons of the church not only tolerated the widespread sexual abuse of children by priests but conspired to hide the crimes and silence the victims. Lynn is accused of having been the archdiocese's sex-abuse fixer, the man who covered up for its priests. Incredibly, after a scandal that has rocked the church for a generation, he is the first Catholic official ever criminally charged for the cover-up.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Quote of the Day

As Britain's coalition government proceeds with an all out assault on the principles of universal healthcare Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee wonders why:
"The only explanation is that the very existence of an exceptionally successful nationalised health service is such an affront to everything Conservatives believe in that it's worth the political risk of demolishing it once and for all.
The same motivation for every conservative attack on universality and duty of service made by our own right wingers.

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