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Sun Jan 12, 2014, 05:49 PM

"Avedon's Sideshow" has some interesting Commentary/Posts/Links and Listens up:

(I don't always agree with her take sometimes....but, she's always interesting with her eclectic posts and links.)


Wednesday, January 8, 2014
A rumination with a view

This week, Digby and Marcy Wheeler were the panelists on Virtually Speaking Sundays, rounding up the year in surveillance and "cognitive dissonance in the Village, the formerly impervious DC bubble." (LINK AT SITE to LISTEN)

Has anyone noticed that the United States government's agents seem to be embarked on a direct attack on the survival of the United States? I mean, seriously, would you want to visit, let alone do business with, a country that does things like this? "Outrage at JFK as Customs men smash a musician's instruments: Boujemaa Razgui, a flute virtuoso who lives in New York and works with many US ensembles, was returning to base over the holiday when Customs officials at Kennedy Airport asked to see his instruments. Bourjemaa carries a variety of flutes of varying ethnicity, each made by himself over years for specific types of ancient and modern performance. He is a regular guest with the diverse and enterprising Boston Camerata. At JFK, the officials removed and smashed each and every one of his instruments." The "reason" for this appears to be that they were "agricultural products". Ah, but that's a small thing in the context of unregulated banksters and runaway spy agencies, isn't it?

And speaking of spies breaking the country, here's Bruce Schneier on How the NSA Threatens National Security. LINK AT SITE

For the first time in a long time, The Washington Post has added someone who actually gives a damn about civil liberties. The good news, believe it or not, is that it's not a noted "liberal" or "progressive" public intellectual - it's actually libertarian Radley Balko. And while I'm sure Radley and I could find lots to argue about, on issues of civil liberties, justice, and the militarization of our police, Balko is a mensch.

"'Horror Stories' Show How Privatization Loots Taxpayers" -
I've been saying this for twelve years now: You do not save money by privatizing; it costs more and it radically reduces efficiency. Every day there is a new "horror story" that is not just some glitch in the system, it's exactly what you can expect when you privatize. Dave actually understates the case here, because the underlying tax base is still always part of the gravy train. LINK AT SITE:

"The Death Bet" - Ankit Shah tweeted the link to this Ian Welsh piece with the words, "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in," which is right, but I had a bit of trouble with the way Ian wrote it, as if everyone just decided to let everything fall apart. There's a lot of language in this piece that makes me wonder what he was drinking, because it sounds like he forgot that the people who've made a life-long and successful project of tearing the New Deal apart are older than the generation he seems to blame for doing it. And, most of all, that "the bulk of senior executives and the bulk of powerful politicians" don't represent a generation, they represent a particular class of people. Most importantly, those people regarded the builders of the New Deal - members of their own class - as class traitors. A portion of the ruling class's power was wrested from them by rebels within their own ranks and given to the people, and now they've wrested it back. It has nothing to do with "us" or a generation or anything the rest of us did. Though it's conceivable that we might have had an inhuman amount of precognition and paranoia that caused us to kill them all in their beds back in the '60s before they were able to effect their program, we didn't and were just trying to live our lives and do the best we could with the world as it was and didn't notice the massive changes they were bringing on us until it was too late. Some people still haven't noticed, but "the bulk of senior executives and the bulk of powerful politicians" (and a tiny handful of extremely, immorally rich individuals and families) are the ones who made this world, and We, the People, are just desperately trying to live in it. (Why else would cutting the estate tax even be a topic of public conversation when only 18 families in the whole of the United States would even benefit from those cuts which would be so harmful to the whole nation?) And, even so, we still plant trees whose shade we will never sit in, even though we know that the bad guys may be coming to mow them down. LINK AT SITE

LINKS to Her COMMENTARY on Articles she's read & MORE MUSINGS AT:



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