The European Worker Perspective

I picked this up from the comments of a Huffpo story about a court ruling that you can’t fire someone over a slice of cheese.

Unions are un-American. That is why the American worker will go lower and lower to be a good American. Working for peanuts is the American dream, from dishwasher to millionaire. Over here in Europe we have socialism; that is really bad. You are fully covered health insurance wise, get 4-6 week mandatory fully paid vacations and other goodies. While we travel the world in our free time, the American worker has to have up to 2 jobs to make ends meet. As long as you keep believing whatever bull you are fed, you will be happy in the land of the fee and the home of the slave.

But wait! This is America where Fox News is the most trusted news source and Jay Leno’s funniest [saddest] bits are when he’s jay walking.

Feeling Better

Hudson River wreckage, New York Central Railroad, 69th Street Bridge

It’s nice to be over it more or less especially since I never meant to turn this blog into a mere status report (see Twitter). A couple things: The Wall Street Journal is actually making good sense. All of the endless posturing, fear-mongering, and overspending on the War on Terror™ has got to stop if we’re going to make any progress at all in the 21st Century.

On Haiti, you probably already know how you can text “HAITI” to 90999 so AT&T will donate $10 to the Red Cross for you. Please also consider texting “YELE” to 501501 which donates $5 to Wyclef Jean’s nonprofit organization specifically benefitting Haiti. Thanks.

A Year of More BS

blue post, nyc subway

Tom Engelhardt and Nick Turse put together a sobering top ten of things to watch for in 2010. One jerk makes going to the airport that much worse for millions of people and forces the U.S. to open another propaganda-plus (more foreign aid and saber-rattling) front in Yemen. I am bewildered at the machinations of empire that fail to learn from history. We’re spending more on war, defense, guns, and killing people (whatever you want to call the military) than the next 25 countries combined. Are we a nation of peace or are we becoming the evil we deplore?

… only diamonds are forever. Sooner or later, like great imperial powers of the past, we, too, will find that the stress of fighting a continuous string of wars in distant lands in inhospitable climes tells on us. Whether we “win” or not in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and now Yemen, we lose.

Thanksgiving Jozz

my bike and jozz at Columbus Circle

I am thankful for a year of mostly no work and having a lot of time to think and read and watch movies, but now I really need some work. My health is great thanks to a mostly vegan diet. I very much enjoyed the PeTA ad that got rejected by NBC. The heavy-handedness is getting a lighter touch. I don’t believe humans will ever be all vegetarians but I think we can maybe go for a more humane and healthy approach to food.

I added a couple more hundred CDs to the pile at Amazon.

Everyone knows how to win the mid-term elections except for Democrats.

Sunday Blabfest

bags in a bar

I have luggage that needs to be sorted and I don’t mean I took a trip. I was disappointed that Bill Moyers is retiring before Oprah. If you want a great talking heads fest with Bill, check out this web exclusive with Glenn Greenwald. Find out why I’m disillusioned with Barack Obama and politics in general. It’s around 40 minutes so go get some popcorn if you decide to watch it.

Huffington Post Censors Itself

I don’t have the screen shot but for a little while yesterday afternoon, the Huffington Post lead story was “PEACE PRIZE?” and linked to a story at the Washington Post about how Obama already secretly sent 13,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. I went to look for the Huffpo story again and it’s gone.

The WaPo story talks about how the additional troops are not combat-oriented but no matter how you slice it, it’s military personnel above and beyond what was initially announced back in March. The story also goes into detail about troop increases since the U.S. first invaded. Mercenary troops and security hiring probably continue apace so I put it out there again: PEACE PRIZE? Really?

War = Peace, Failure = Success, Taxpayer = Treasury

red tree

The conservatives essentially say that the Nobel Peace Prize was given to a man who has done nothing to deserve it and they’re far less than half-right. The part they were right about was lampooned on SNL a little over a week ago.

The Nobel Prize committee says Barack Obama has created “a new climate in international politics.” In reality, Obama’s rhetoric has largely cloaked a continuation and extension of Bush’s foreign policy.

Apart from the diplomatic rhetoric, there has been no meaningful reversal of US foreign policy in relation to the George W. Bush presidency, which might have remotely justified the granting of the Nobel Prize to Obama. In fact quite the opposite. The Obama military agenda has sought to extend the war into new frontiers. With a new team of military and foreign policy advisers, the Obama war agenda has been far more effective in fostering military escalation than that formulated by the NeoCons.

Since the very outset of the Obama presidency, this global military project has become increasingly pervasive, with the reinforcement of US military presence in all major regions of the World  and the development of new advanced weapons systems on an unprecdented scale.

Granting the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama provides legitimacy to the illegal practices of war, to the military occupation of foreign lands, to the relentless killings of civilians in the name of “democracy”.

Notwithstanding, we have a domestic policy that rewards catastrophic financial failure and ineptitude courtesy of the taxpayer. (This episode of Bill Moyers Journal is must-see TV.) If there were any true conservative brains in media land, they would be praising Obama’s foreign policy, mocking the Nobel Prize committee for giving it to a warmonger in their camp, and focusing on the socialist policies governing U.S. finance. It’s sad and tragic that connecting the dots is such a scorned skill amongst the DC Villagers.

Quitters Stick With It. Winners Quit.

Party on the roof (not), Park Slope, Brooklyn

Via TPM, that’s the take-away from Sarah Palin’s speech. On twitter, Ezra Klein advises ambitious bloggers to comb through the speech for other internal contradictions. The headline says it all for me and I hope we’re done with this hack. John McCain was an idiot for putting her on the national stage.

After the jump, there’s a long compilation of Richard’s forwards from the past weeks. Many of the links posted aren’t just opinion pieces from various political blogs… several are legitimate stories from respected news sources. Continue reading “Quitters Stick With It. Winners Quit.”

Tunneling and Landscaping

mchuge, pedestrian tunnel, riverside drive, nyc

One thing about tunnels is that to see the light at the end of them, you have to build them before you get to experience the darkness and wonder about the light at the end. If it’s a pedestrian tunnel as part of a bridge and landscaping project, it was an afterthought and there was some extra money lying around. (This is part of the Riverside Drive viaduct over 125th Street built around 1900. Before this, Riverside Drive ended at a cul-de-sac next to Grant’s Tomb. Now you know!)

I haven’t done one of these in a while so the first links are over a week old but of course they’re worth putting in the record. More links than you can shake a Chinese puzzle stick at are after the jump! Continue reading “Tunneling and Landscaping”