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Member since: 2002
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You say, "Unfortunately, these crashes will keep happening in NASCAR...

as long as the sport refuses to punish drivers who pull these stunts."


These crashes will keep happening as long as there is a NASCAR. Self-evidently.

Furthermore, they are an essential attraction of the "sport." They're the only part of the show that is ever re-broadcast on non-sports programs. If you're going to stage a modern Circus Maximus predicated on maximum HP, torque and speed, then your competing gladiators are going to push as hard as they can for the win. This spectacle by definition is about reckless driving. Also self-evident. ("I'm shocked, shocked, that there is reckless driving at this race track!")

Well that's the important thing I guess. Screw whoever might have got killed.

I hope it wasn't any minors schlepped along to this "sport."

And whoever Ms. Patrick is. A race-car driver, I suppose?

You'd think a population already subjected to the noise of cars and the stink of exhaust fumes on a near 24/7 basis would choose a form of diversion other than voluntarily spending entire days wallowing in 100 times the car noise and 100 times the stink of exhaust. You'd think wrong, however.

Thought-Provoking New HSBC Ad Campaign Going Viral

From http://alternativebanking.nycga.net/2013/02/05/proposal-for-a-new-hsbc-ad-campaign/

(it's mine, no copyright issue)

If you've been in an airport or subway station the last ten years, you'll probably recall the ad campaign from HSBC, with its message that golly gee, we are all individuals from different cultures and everyone's got a different view of things, so let's not be judgmental.

Here are two samples:

Of course, in its recent $2 billion settlement with the Department of Justice -- a sum that represents six weeks of its 2011 profits -- HSBC admitted to laundering money for the Mexican and Colombian drug cartels and for terrorist organizations. So it's no wonder they take a liberal approach to "values."

Terrorism and the drug trade.

In Pakistan and Yemen, the US president dispatches drones to blow up presumed terrorists, and their families, and their neighbors. In the drug-exporting nations, low-level smugglers and their random acquaintances are being murdered by military death squads. In the US, executives at charities accused of helping to finance terrorism have received multiple life sentences.

At the bank of terror and drug money laundering, HSBC, no one is worrying about drones overhead, or even an indictment on their admitted crimes. The government is afraid to punish them because of the possible impact on the markets, and the domino effect among other big banks, some of whom are doubtless involved in the same business. They are too big to fail. (Also, let's admit it, they're white people, more or less. And British.) Although the DOJ settlement establishes that these crimes were committed for many years, no one at HSBC is supposed to face any criminal charges. No one is being fired. No bonuses or salaries are being cut, although a few bonuses have been deferred. Deferred!

In that spirit, here's a draft for a new HSBC ad campaign. Let's not be judgmental!

Feel free to pass it on. Make your own version. HSBC is very proud of their "thought provoking" ad campaigns, and yet their US profile is relatively low. Let's give them a viral push. Let's make sure everyone knows who they are.

Because elections don't change the real power configuration...

Or any candidate who'd genuinely threaten to do so doesn't have a chance.

Now, before the swarm attacks:

There are important differences between the two big parties. We're practically forced to choose the better one, because these differences radically affect millions of us. And because movements for change experience better conditions under one party than another. And because the local and state levels, where the differences between the parties can be much more radical, are very important.

But these differences are within a limited scope. It's not just generalized corruption thanks to the power of money, it's also the weight of history and tradition with which we must contend. "The ghosts of the past."

The power of Wall Street and its divine right to extract surplus value as rent income from all sectors of the productive economy and from the 99% will not be questioned. The finance-captured government will do all to preserve that power, to cover up Wall Street fraud, to hold no one accountable, to reward miscreants and sociopaths with higher office, to follow Wall Street ideology, and to rescue Wall Street from its inevitable crashes - regardless of cost.

This is part of the larger dominance of the oversize and transnational corporations, their money in politics, their ownership of the mass media and sponsorship of academia and policy-making institutes, and the whole global structure of dominance they've set up through devices like WTO, IMF, World Bank, NAFTA and other "free trade" agreements, EU, etc.

Also never to be questioned is the predominant role of the war machine as the primary item in the Call it what you will: The National Security State. The Pentagon system. The military-industrial-Congressional-lobbyist-corporate-media complex. The global military empire. The doctrine of full-spectrum dominance. The geostrategic wankery that upholds American Exceptionalism and the USG as a legitimate decider on what should happen everywhere on the planet. The deep state and its parapolitical extensions. "Top Secret America." The federal surveillance and control state. The cycle of manufacturing threats and enemies that supposedly compel interventions, wars, new orders and phases of transition and rebuilding, with opportunities for profit at each stage.

The drug war might fall in the foreseeable future, though. That would be an important break. What will the banks do without $400 billion in extra cash flow a year to launder? What will the surveillance and security agencies do without this important pretext?

The insane energy system also may be shakier than it looks, for unavoidable reasons of physics and ecology.

And the straight-jacket culture is loosening up on some fronts.

So it's not hopeless.

You see where this is heading...

Promoting anorexia is demonstrably wrong, but this kind of pressure campaign becomes another step in legitimating the corporate Internet up as the speech police. Whether or not they respond -- they may not because unfortunately, anorexia seems to sell -- they are still turned into an authority over user content. And as Facebook becomes a tool for such control (which it already is and wants to be, e.g. with the recent banning of "conspiracy theory" sites, plus prudishness to the point of banning pics of breastfeeding mothers), the pressure will be on the ISPs to do the same. You won't have poisonous propaganda - or anything other than the Internet as a kind of Disnified corporate mall.

Because Switzerland is a tax haven for American wealth?

Your point about military spending is extremely well taken. That's the single factor that most negatively distinguishes the US from all other developed nations. We have put the richest chunk of our surplus product into maintaining a costly empire, creating enemies and destroying other countries, with little or no benefit to the 99 percent of Americans.

What's going on with humanity? About the usual.

The US homicide rate has been falling steadily for more than 20 years, to about one-half of what it was in 1990. There are still many thousands of cases, and you hear about many of these (as is to be expected). The only counter-trend in this has been in rampage killings - those have stayed steady or gone up in the same period as the homicide rate generally has fallen.

Also, something like 60 people got killed by New York subway trains last year. This is not nice, and deplorable, and worthy of taking preventive actions if any effective ones can be found - but it does not represent anything unusual for humanity generally in this month as opposed to any other.

The propaganda begins in the headline. Monti never ran.

First, a blatant untruth:

Monti never ran.

The former Goldman Sachs advisor was never a candidate for prime minister and thus was never elected. His accession was the result of bankster pressure to put an austerity government in place, especially given the weakened and reluctant state of the Berlusconi government. Thus, if he leads a party into the next election, Monti will be running for the first time. Not "again."

Next, two phrases are not reporting, they are obvious editorial:

1) an economist who has helped restore Italy’s international credibility

correction: an economist who imposed an unpopular austerity regime favored by international banking

2) centrist

correction: neoliberal

The phrase "centrist" is always ideological. It's always bullshit. Among establishment writers it's tantamount to calling him the Good Guy in the movie.

Here's the better movie:

He dangled the baby over the balcony because they couldn't demand he drop it.

Which means it was always safe.

Are you fucking kidding me?

This shows how dishonest (or deluded) the fluoridation advocates are.

The majority of the developed world does not fluoridate their water, and despite this all of these countries have seen enormous improvements in dental health through the decades. (Many of them have better dental health indicators than the US, of course.) It's correctly seen as a forced medication of the entire population, as well as a self-evident health hazard. But in the United States it's liberals who have been successfully brainwashed into thinking that the only people who object to the practice are right-wing and crazy. Very typically for Americans, they are either ignorant of the rest of the world, or prefer to ignore it, and make a virtue of their ignorance. The liberal reaction to the anyone even mentioning fluoridation as a problem reveals an extreme provincialism masquerading as enlightenment rationalism. That's not what liberals should be about.
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