I miss it. Specifically, the easy access to chess opponents of various abilities, the endless stories - many quite interesting and all more so than the daily offerings outside, the sense of community (cue mockery if it hasn't already autotuned). Most interestingly the sense that someone could really use my help.
The surprising number of people in for LFO's. Debtor's prison is back. The muslims applying for kosher meals because it is the closest they can get.
The people who were kind to me for no reason at all.
Bitch away you bastards, but it felt a lot like home.
There is predictable bad news on Social Security, that the Democrats are gonna try to shove cuts down our throats despite opinion polls showing overwhelming opposition to them, and overwhelming support for adjusting the income cap (can you believe it, there's a damn regressive taxation income cap!) if we need more revenue. But don't forget the (related!) good news. Bangladeshi garment workers worked hard after the preventable fire/catastrophe that killed 1100 last April, worked angry, got in the streets and closed them down, shut down factories, and so they have achieved, so far, a 50-80% wage increase:
Bangladesh's garment factory owners are pencilling in a minimum wage increase of about 50 to 80 percent and will ask retailers to pay more to defray the cost, as the government tries to end a wave of strikes that hit nearly a fifth of workshops last month.
See, no cuts for those who get in the streets and make life impossible for the owners. The pay of Bangladeshi garment workers will go from $38 up to $57 to $68 a month -- a month! -- so they continue to protest, hard, in order to achieve their stated demand of $100. A good place to learn about the fight and how progress is being made is at The Real News, which interviews Michelle Chen, a labor expert who frequently contributes to MyFDL. As she would I think agree, and as I show through recent headlines, this is how you do it:
It is widely accepted today that Motown represented the greatest leap forward in the postwar racial integration of the United States. This milestone of the early 1960's mass media boom was accomplished by 'crossing over' historically segregated musical forms to a burgeoning young white audience. Motown reached astonishing pop chart success during the 1960-70s through a calculated effort to smooth the rougher, rawer edges of 1950s "race" music, making it palatable and radio friendly for the times, propelled by the shiny, upbeat optimism of the rhythm rather than featuring the moral degradation found to be so often the chief characteristic of the blues.
Indeed, 'the sound of young Amerika' quickly became the background music of a generation.
I don't know about you, but I feel safe knowing my government is watching me, Who KNOWS what I might do? I'm not a stable person, none of us are.
According to ABC News, http://abcnews.go.com/... One in Five Americans suffers from Mental Illness. That means that 20% of everyone you know is mentally ill and that's not counting those who are simply unstable. Our leaders understand that and simply want to make sure those who are still clinging to mental health have the best chance of anyone in the world at realizing the American dream of owning your own home.
Obviously the Nobel Peace Prize should be given to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. In the quickest thinking diplomatic moment of all time, he literally prevented an imminent war by taking advantage of a U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry bonehead error, where Kerry sneered/joked that aggressive U.S. war on Syria would be called off only if "every single bit" of Syria's chemical weapons were eliminated in a week. More details are in Syria calls John Kerry's bluff, agrees to turn over its chemical weapons to UN!, where I quote the Guardian on the purely rhetorical nature of Kerry's pseudo-demand:
If you wanted visuals with your music, you stared at the album covers, saw the group live or on television. Staring at the pattern of holes which constituted the speaker on your transistor radio was another option.
Damascus welcomes Russia's call to hand over control of its chemical weapons to the international community, the Syrian Foreign Minister has said, responding to Sergey Lavrov's statement after the two met in the Russian capital.
... the most plausible hypothesis so far is that the incident was an accident. Indeed, rebel sources themselves have been quoted as saying that the incident occurred as a result of their own mishandling of chemical weapons obtained from Saudi Arabia. In that case, the victims were the "collateral damage" so frequent in war.
But more important than its plausibility is that the accident hypothesis is now reaching dangerously large numbers of Americans. For confirmation of that good news, we see that the mainstream media now can't ignore the hypothesis and must go on the attack. And that's where Foreign Policy Magazine's Elias Groll comes in. Here's his entire case for why the 'accident hypothesis' is "crazy" (and yes, note the extreme, trollish rhetoric):
Anyone with any sense of who and what drives U.S. foreign policy has been blackly pessimistic as the Congressional 'bomb Syria' vote approaches. But the charade of a debate goes forward in our campaign-contributions-driven Congress, Secretary of State Kerry giving them assertions not evidence (If the evidence underlying the assertions were real don't you think Kerry would've shown it to us immediately?), but 'our' representatives magically in a buying mood for that b.s. I could pause and point out that even the assertions indicate a catastrophic accident occurred, where Syrian conventional bombardment hit rebel sarin gas stores, and that this matches what on-the-ground Ghouta residents say happened (in the year's most important ignored news story -- thanks mintnews.com).
But hell, discussing evidence and assertions ... what does it matter when three of America's main determiners of foreign policy all are bent on destroying Syria? By my count the U.S. has four main foreign policy power constellations: (in no particular order) the Israel lobby, the oil and gas lobby, the military-industrial complex, and the finance industry. Finance is sitting this one out but the other three are gung ho for regime change or Syria destroyed (transformed into squabbling, unstable mini-states).
This goes back at least to 1996 and "A Clean Break," the neoconservative game plan that they've with great success gotten the U.S. to implement. Syria is mentioned with great deja vu:
"Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which Americans can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon, including ... by establishing the precedent that Syrian territory is not immune to attacks emanating from Lebanon by Israeli proxy forces..."
Back to the present, we of course have plenty to choose from, beginning with this news yesterday on the pinnacle of the Israel Lobby, AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee):
(I didn't think it half bad, but apparently, you cannot mention a big dick and an
African-American in the same sentence--I understand the history of that, but my connotation was the dilemma of being a "tough guy" in a world of strongmen, or actually being democratic.)
President Barack Obama is apparently past the point of no return, according to his Pentagon advisers/controllers, on bombing Syria. As he surely knows, this means bombing Syrian civilians, since military and civilian sites are woven together tightly there. So he knows he will maim and kill civilians. But that's not why he's a sadist.
What appears to be Obama's goal is to prolong a brutal civil war -- which seemed finally well on its way to ending, as it was being won by the Syrian government -- and keep Syria fractured and impoverished for as long as possible. So there's no realpolitik 'balancing of evil for a greater good' thinking going on here, the only goal is destruction and death. That's why he's a sadist.