Links 8/19/10


  1. Diego Méndez

    The Spiegel article on Greece is all but fair. 70% unemployment? Are we to believe that a country with 12% official unemployment and an informal economy making up to 25% GDP has any region with African living conditions?

    Greece has a higher bankruptcy probability than Argentina; some Spanish regions have a higher bankruptcy probability than emerging (or rather submerging?) countries such as Peru. Something has to give, and it won’t be recession-proof, advanced, European-style democracies.

    And, as traditional in schadenfreude-prone media, no single piece of evidence relating to mounting tensions. The Greeks are not in their best emotional moment, indeed, but rational measures have been taken (such as crashing transport monopolies and collecting taxes from self-employed people, taxis, etc.) and the Greek people is showing the world that they are as civilized, democratic and peace-minded as any other European country.

    Moreover, the deficit is being reduced. That was deemed impossible by many at NC.

    But that’s not popular news-material. Not even at NC (sigh).

  2. LeeAanne

    on Why the Suicide Rate Among Veterans Is Climbing

    According to the article, demands on troops can be as much as 10-20 tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan:

    Torment, sickness and death of slaves from the rigors, mistreatment and deprivations of ocean travel -collateral damage of US slave trade profits.

    Torment, suicide, amputation, and mental illness, from the rigors, mistreatment and deprivations of Iraq and Afghanistan -collateral damage of US authorities’ military profits.

    Cruelty and indifference for the safety of American troops has been practiced relentlessly since Bush/Cheney by US authorities and continued under Obama -a neo con tool.

    It was obvious from the first photos out of Iraq of troops resting in a sand pit of maybe 10 in uniform and equipment unsheltered from the desert heat and sand followed by information on the lack of vehicles and equipment appropriate for their protection in a war aimed at those vehicles.

    One would think American authorities have nothing but misery in mind for everyone but their own cronies.

    1. traderjoe

      And of course any debate about the wars is characterized as not “supporting the troops”. The best way to support the troops would be to bring them home.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Rising suicides are terrible, and so are the walking (or rolling) wounded, who have been effectively dehumanized and/or addicted to violence (the andrenaline and dopamine of war). As described in Chris Hedges’ book “War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning” and vividly portrayed in the movie, “the Hurt Locker”, the immediacy of death and killing and the tribal bonds of survival and loss become drugs every bit as tenacious and destructive as meth or crack. This may explain the counter-intuitively high rate of voluntary redeployment (recidivism) The Iraqi troops homecoming may yet prove as traumatic as combat for all of us.

  3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Elephants should play with other elephants.

    There is no future in soccer for kid elephants – wise parent elephants know that and elephants are wise…most of them. This one may be under the custody of Homo Not-So-Sapiens Not-So-Sapiens though.

  4. eric anderson

    A great Time magazine poll front-paged on Drudge this morning.

    One third of those polled think a Muslim should be ineligible to run for President.

    One quarter think Obama is a Muslim. I’d say they’re not far off. He’s Muslim-ish. He’s also Christian-ish. Both of those traditions are part of his background. He’s neither fish nor flesh.

    61% are opposed to the Ground Zero Mosque.

    It is not the GOP alone that is taking a stand. It is a broad cross section of America from all persuasions. The families of the 3000 victims of the Muslim act of war committed on 9/11 who oppose the mosque — what percentage of those do you suppose are Democrats?

    1. purple

      The Mosque hysteria just shows how incapable Americans are dealing with the loss of empire. Being #1 is a deep emotional birthright; I can’t imagine the damage this country will do when it is clear that we are not #1.

      1. attempter

        The worst part is that Americans could still redeem #1 if we’d purge the corporate parasites, relinquish the corportaized empire, and become the self-reliant producers Jefferson dreamed we could be. Going into the post-oil world, America could still even now set a shining example for the world.

        The great tragedy of modern history is how, in the potential Century of Liberation, where a whole world in revolt against the remnants of feudalism looked to the example of the American Revolution, the US instead chose to become the monstrous counter-revolutionary force, while abandoning the field of freedom to the communists, to be misdirected by them.

        Thus human freedom was crushed completely by the Cold War and the neoliberal onslaught of refeudalization which succeeded it. And it was all for the benefit of a handful of gangsters, history’s most vile criminals.

        But even now America could still recover and redeem itself.

    2. Ina Deaver

      Neither fish nor flesh — Obama is an alligator?

      He’s not muslimish – no one in that particular religion would recognize such a concept. It is far from a monolith, mind you — you’ve got Sufis, Sunnis and Shi’ites under the same tent. But none of them would recognize the possibility of being “muslimish” and “Christianish.”

      I think what you’ve identified is a kind of secular humanism that many find offensive. Well, that and a fundamental lack of values he seems to display that we all should find fairly offensive. But I certainly wouldn’t drag a brief time exposed to Islam into it.

    3. PQS

      Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain’t that a big enough majority in any town?
      – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

      Here’s one American taking a stand for religious freedom and against the bigotry that has infected this country.

      1. DownSouth

        That diabolical hell-conceived principle of persecution rages among some and to their eternal infamy the Clergy can furnish their quota of Imps for such business. This vexes me the most of anything whatever… I have neither patience to hear, talk, or think of anything relative to this matter, for I have squabbled and scolded, abused and ridiculed so long about it…that I am without common patience…. Pray for Liberty of Conscience.
        –James Madison in a letter to William Bradford, January 24, 1774

        [Wherever] a majority are united by a common interest or passion, the rights of the minority are in danger.
        –James Madison before Constitutional Convention

        Here’s one more American taking a stand for religious freedom and against the bigotry that has infected this country.

        1. Anonymous Jones

          Here’s one more taking the same stand…and from a man who *despises* religion. He just despises thoughtless bigotry even more. What scum we live amongst. The hypocrisy and hate is so great (and so antithetical to the God they profess to worship and love), it makes me sick to be human sometimes.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Well, you go through life searching and growing.

      One day, you may find that voice speaking to you and realize that’s the religion, whatever that is, for you…it could be the one you were exposed in your childhood – many old people return to what they were familiar with when they were young.

      So, one day, when you, I or Obama is retired, we will find that we are all Zen Buddhists.

      It would be cooler if a sitting president is a Zen Buddhist though.

    5. skippy

      Muslim act of war? Try again.

      7:45 a.m.: Departed Boston for Los Angeles.
      8:46 a.m.: Crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

      Mohamed Atta, pilot and group leader
      Age: 33.
      Nationality: Egyptian.
      “A walking dead man.” That is how the head of one Florida flight school described this son of a middle-class lawyer and a doting mother. It was not a reference to Atta’s impending suicide, but to his demeanor. Most Floridians who encountered Atta remember him as always serious and frequently boorish. Thought to be a mastermind of the Sept. 11 plot, he and two other leader/pilots, Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah, go back to the late 1990s when they spent time together at Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg in Germany.

      Abdulaziz Alomari
      Age: Unknown.
      Nationality: Saudi.
      The last hijacker to arrive in the United States. His grinning face captured at an ATM machine in Portland, Maine, gave rise to an FBI theory that some hijackers did not know the Sept. 11 plot was a suicide mission. Took flying classes in Vero Beach. Trained at a Boynton Beach gym.

      Satam M.A. Al Suqami
      Age: 25.
      Nationality: Saudi.
      Tied to a foiled millennium plot to blow up tourist sites. Trained in a Boynton Beach gym.

      Wail M. Alshehri
      Age: 28.
      Nationality: Saudi.
      Stayed at motels in Hollywood, Deerfield Beach and Boynton Beach. Brother is Waleed, below.

      Waleed M. Alshehri
      Age: 22.
      Nationality: Saudi.
      Generally followed his brother’s movements in Florida. Their father last saw them in December 2000 when Wail Alshehri went away to seek religious help for a psychological problem.


      7:58 a.m.: Departed Boston for Los Angeles
      9:02 a.m.: Crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center

      Marwan al-Shehhi, pilot and group leader
      Age: 23.
      Nationality: United Arab Emirates.
      Al-Shehhi was a friendly foil to his frequent companion, the brooding Atta, as they earned their commercial pilots licenses together in Venice, then trained on a simulator in Opa-Locka near Miami. He and Atta arrived in the United States in the summer of 2000. This time last year, al-Shehhi, Atta and several other Sept. 11 terrorists were living at a Deerfield Beach motel, where the owner noticed they dressed nicely, never went to the beach a block away, never swam in the kidney-shaped pool and always carried black duffel bags.

      Fayez Rashid Ahmed Hassan Al Qadi Banihammad
      Age: 28.
      Nationality: Saudi.
      He left home in July 2000, telling his family he was joining the International Islamic Relief Organization. He turned up later in Delray Beach. A year ago this past Tuesday, he purchased his first-class ticket on Flight 175.

      Ahmed Alghamdi
      Age: 21.
      Nationality: Saudi.
      One of two Sept. 11 terrorists with ties to a foiled millennium plot to attack tourist destinations. Lived in Delray, but moved to Virginia by this time last year to get in place for the attack.

      Hamza Alghamdi
      Age: 20.
      Nationality: Saudi.
      Lived in Delray Beach with two hijackers from Flight 93, the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania.

      Mohand Alshehri
      Age: 21.
      Nationality: Unknown.
      Not related to the Alshehri brothers aboard Flight 11. Lived in Delray Beach, where a librarian remembers his name on signup sheets to wait to use a computer.

      8:10 a.m.: Departed Washington Dulles for Los Angeles
      9:40 a.m.: Crashed into the Pentagon

      Hani Hanjour, pilot and group leader
      Age: 29.
      Nationality: Saudi.
      Hanjour led the terrorist group based in San Diego. His only Florida contact came in 1996 when he stayed with friends of his brother in Miramar. In the weeks before Sept. 11, he met twice with Mohamed Atta in Las Vegas. The FBI now believes those sessions at a discount motel were crucial in planning the attacks. Hanjour took flying lessons in Scottsdale, Ariz., where his instructors said his skills were poor. Investigators say that could be the reason Flight 77, with Hanjour at the controls, began to jerk.

      Nawaf Alhazmi
      Age: 25.
      Nationality: Unknown.

      Majed Moqed
      Age: Unknown.
      Nationality: Unknown.

      Khalid Almihdhar
      Age: Unknown.
      Nationality: Unknown.

      Salem Alhazmi
      Age: Uknown.
      Nationality: Saudi.

      8:42 a.m.: Departed Newark for San Francisco
      10:01 a.m.: Crashed in Stony Creek Township, Penn.

      Ziad Samir Jarrah, pilot and group leader
      Age: 26.
      Nationality: Lebanese.
      Jarrah was the leader of the only hijacking group with four members, a factor that may have enabled a group of passengers to overpower them. Raised in a middle-class family, Jarrah left Lebanon in 1996. In Germany, he partied and seemed to enjoy Western culture. In 1999, after meeting Atta, he got his pilot’s license in Hamburg and dropped out of school. He turned up several months later in Venice, Fla., to take flying lessons. In 2001, he moved to Hollywood and began martial arts classes. On Sept. 9, he checked out of a Deerfield Beach motel with Atta, al-Shehhi and others.

      Saeed Alghamdi
      Age: 25.
      Nationality: Saudi.
      One of three hijackers who rented a $900-a-month condo in the Delray Beach Racquet Club near I-95. On Sept. 7, Alghamdi and roommate Ahmed Alnami flew from Fort Lauderdale to Newark on Spirit Airlines to get in position for Sept. 11.

      Ahmed Ibrahim A. Al Haznawi
      Age: 20.
      Nationality: Saudi.
      Once lived in Lauderdale by the Sea, two blocks from the beach, with Jarrah. Drove Jarrah’s sporty Mitsubishi Eclipse.

      Ahmed Alnami
      Age: 23.
      Nationality: Saudi.
      At 5-feet-9 inches tall, he was among the taller hijackers.

  5. craazyman

    I gotta say. Der Spiegel has some very good English prose writers/editors.

    I’ve been really impressed by their English language articles, linked here, over the months.

    This one, today, on Greece and the upcoming Communist revolution there (which was one of my 2010 New Year’s predictions, along with Paul McCartney and Barbara Streisand’s joint world tour, which somehow hasn’t happened yet, not sure what’s the hangup there), was really sort of harrowing.

    1. craazyman

      Sometimes You Can Just Feel it Coming

      There’s just that vibe you can feel in the air, the DNA radio broadcast of souls engulfed in misery about to explode, like the way a star goes unstable before the supernova. It takes a while to build, but when it does, it surges like a panic attack and vibrates in the noousphere before it blows in physical reality. That’s kind of what it seems like to me now. The vibrations of something coming. But maybe I’m just too impressionable and over-wrought with my imagination.

      How can these countries hold together? I can’t see it, or more precisely, I can’t feel it. Because thinking, logic, reason, formulas and equations are all useless when you’re channeling the universal mind and tuning the way it propagates in waves of wholeness and fragments and shatters. And that’s the only thing that really drives non-physical reality.

      My aunt on my mother’s side of the family had an old house on Cape Cod that her father bought in 1934 and the attic was full of Readers Digests — from the 1930s and 1940s. No body ever threw them away. They laid there for decades in piles in the dust.

      And so when I’d visit every once in a while, on a lazy summer day, I’d pick one up and read history written while it was still alive.

      There was one by a reporter who traveled through Germany in 1938, before Crystalnacht, before Hitler’s invasions, before Pearl Harbor, before D-Day, before the tens of millions killed, before the Camps, before it all. And he foretold it like he was writing history after the fact.

      It was erie, to read it, knowing that it hadn’t happened, knowing that he knew nothing of it — knowing that the faces he looked directly into, the youth at play, the young men and women — would be murdered, butchered, shot, starved, bombed, or would themselves murder, butcher, shoot, starve and bomb, in a frenzy of social breakdown into insanity — and that he looked into these faces alive in the streets and in the shops and saw the pyschic tensions building to a degree that would surely explode. And he traced the essential energy of this supernova with a direct and sober narrative that was shocking in its prophetic insight. A strange summer afternoon that was, to read that.

      That’s kind of what it was like to read that Der Spiegel article. One wonders how any of this will end well, threading some needle where everything just somehow works out for the best while the corruption rages in higher flames of furtive kleptomania and the ones who can least afford it and least deserve it somehow have to double down and pay more and more and more in a never-ending loot of their lives, fortunes and sacred honor. At least it seems that way, anyway.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Craazyman, you are using both halves of your brain.

        I can’t understand why so many people only want to use half…always into competing for cleverness.

        The wise forsake science knowing there is no failsafe guard against bad people using secrets that will be uncovered. If that hasn’t happened yet, it doesn’t mean it won’t in the future. The wise do not accpet even one googol-googol-oogol-googolth of a percent chance of that happening. Viewed in that standard, only people without conscience go into scienc (maybe not if you use a different standard. It’s about how much you care, how much you use your right brain.).

      2. DownSouth

        [H]ad the major central banks pursued policies of price stability instead of adhering to the gold standard, there would have been no Great Depression, no Nazi revolution, and no World War II.
        –Robert Mundwell, in his acceptance speech for the 1999 Nobel Prize in economics

        1. Johnson

          Trouble is, the gold standard was already in use and “price stability was never its offer. Mundell is lying as he always is lying.

          1. Johnson

            I should say Mundwell. Amazing how these goldbugs always say “gold” is the answer, when gold standard created the logn depression starting in 1873(also known as the “theft of 73”) after the US had been bi-metallic since its birth.

            Price stability is as much about growth than anything else. The Nazi revolution was as much about punishing the Germans and the revolution would have happened in the 1920’s if it hadn’t been for the US’s vast capital flows following the war, which also explains the shortened early 20’s post-war correction, the “Nazi Revolution” would have come a decade earlier. But in the end, the capital was wasted and sat on by the rich, which is what triggered the Great Depression through the liquidation.

            Mundwell’s nature of lying is the absolute final stage of a cabalist.

          2. DownSouth

            Actually it is Mundell. Mundwell was a typo.

            That economic forces have social consequences, such as revolution, is an observation populaized by Marx.

            I actually argued against Mundell’s position the other day. I certainly agree that economic forces are a contributing factor to soical upheaval, but not the only factor. Whether the economic misery is perceived as being shared by all segments of society—-if the institutions of society are perceived as being fair and just—-I believe is another contributing factor. Also if the economic misery is perceived as being “natural” or unavoidable, it also triggers less social turmoil.

            And like you say, the political context is always important.

            What Mundell is inveiging against is central bankers who allow a deflationary spiral to occur.

    2. Bates

      Here is some ‘change we can believe in’ lol…

      OFF TOPIC: ‘Rep. Ryan’s Reverse-Robin-Hood Budget Plan’

      ‘The tax cuts for those at the very top would be historic. The richest 1 percent of Americans would see their taxes cut in half, and households with incomes above $1 million would receive a $502,000 tax cut each year, on average, according to the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center.

      In contrast, about three-quarters of Americans — those with incomes between $20,000 and $200,000 — would face tax increases. Households with incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 would pay an extra $900, on average.’

      ‘Debt would grow for decades despite massive program cuts. The Ryan plan would partially privatize Social Security and replace Medicare and most of Medicaid with vouchers whose value would erode over time, leaving low-income families, seniors, and people with disabilities less and less able to buy adequate health coverage on their own. Yet despite these huge cuts, the plan fails to achieve its advertised goal of fiscal responsibility because of its enormous tax cuts for the rich. Federal debt under the plan would rise over the next several decades to unsustainable levels far in excess of the size of the nation’s economy.’

      Remainder of the sick article here…BTW, if this guy Ryan is from your district and you don’t vote him out you must be very wealthy… Hat tip to Jesse’s Cafe Americain…

  6. tranchesco

    The irony is — looking at his hiring choices — Obama demonstrates a lot more “jewish-ness” than “muslim-ness.”

    1. Johnson

      That is because Obama worked with several Jews in Chicago. However, I have a feeling some of them will be getting fired for the 2nd half of his term.

      The “Chicago influence” and “Daley” school of politics is a big reason Obama looks like such a idiot at times. It is not part of the progressive movement and never will be. Times like these need a little swagger and challenging the status quo. The Chicago school of politics doesn’t do it.

  7. scraping_by

    RE; Treasury Bubble_meme

    Reading the original Siegel & Schwartz column in the WSJ, I was struck again by a small insight that seems obvious listening to all the stock salesmen posing as financial analysts.

    Comparing bonds to stocks, they always subtract inflation from the bond yield. From a stock portfolio, never. Nor sales fees, custodial fees, and managerial fees( mutuals and such). This is a common failing in stock market journalism, advice books, textbooks, pamphlets, lectures, etc. Stock returns exist in the no-inflation universe.

    So, even if you had a time machine and could go back and build a portfolio of the stocks that proved to be winners, your reward would be shortened while the risk remained the same.

    Nothing profound.

  8. Johnson

    A good example of how the RE bust is holding down the economy.

    In my block, it was always very white with occassionally a non-white homeowner mixed in, but they always fit in. Starting 2002-3 I noticed alot more “ghetto” non-whites moving in. By 2006-7, 7 houses had non-white homeowners who didn’t “fit” in. I asked one of them how they got the house, they told me the bank gave it to them. I said F/F,CRA ete? Nope, just the bank. I thought it was bizzare and all these years later, it comes home to roost.

    2 years later all 7 of those non-whites are gone. Leaving overvalued empty housing and the rest of us. This is a drain of wealth on my block. It looks awfull and is depressing homevalues on the block. A long retired neighbor is trying to sell her home for 59500(bought it for 41000 back in the 1980). Still sitting for 2 years and now trying to sell it for 49500. The next block over is doing much better because they never got the influx of subprime “flock”. A family sold their house for 80000 dollars………

    It is amazing how much of the subprime thing used the non-whites so they could profit when it busted. They never fit in socially in the first place.

    1. Jackrabbit

      This comment is offensive.

      Some “ghetto” non-whites lost their homes in your neighborhood and you are miffed that their misfortune has cause you and your friends a financial loss?

      Why don’t you blame the bankers (mostly white) that put them there? Why don’t you blame the (mostly white) economists and risk managers and politicians and regulators that profited, directly or indirectly, by looking the other way instead of sounding the alarm? I know that not everyone could’ve made a difference, but there are dozens that could’ve and should’ve spoken out or done more. (One of my heros of this financial crisis is the Lehman accounting guy that wrote a memo about the shady accounting and was promptly fired.)

      1. LeeAanne

        Hypocrisy and narrow mindedness are well represented here.

        I appreciate plain spoken narrative and Johnson’s experience as he describes it plainly from his own point of view without the politically correct bullshit.

        1. PityTheBankers

          Its always the racist scum who decry “political correctness.” They want the freedom to spew their filth without any push back. Fuck the racist scum.

        2. Jackrabbit


          I think the comment is offensive whether Johnson used politically correct language or not. The tone of his remark is one of blaming the victim (or one class of victims). Strangely, I think Johnson WANTS to blame the bankers but his message winds up being overshadowed by his racist rant against the “getto” nonwhites that don’t “fit in.” His plain spoken narrative is thoughtless and insensitive as he all but says that we wouldn’t be in this mess if those undesirable nonwhites just knew their place.

      2. Jackrabbit

        Johnson makes a valid point in that people who bought their homes during the bubble without sufficient resources to pay were setup to default. And that has impacted valuations in the neighborhood.

        But whether they were white or nonwhite, the result is the same. They were used and the potential consequences (destroying valuations in the neighborhood) were ignored.

        PS The executive that was fired because he blew the whistle at Lehman was asian.

        1. LeeAanne

          An excess of sensitivity could be more productively expressed elsewhere.

          Fascism is not only alive and well in the US, it is generally not appreciated that it is simultaneously a top-down phenom and in your case, bottom-up simultaneously; a kind of spiral that gives it force, if you will.

          Johnson’s comments communicate his experience; a good read and requires no interpretation. His story is particularly illuminating on the issue of criminal banker preference for targeting Blacks and in the process harming the economy and the people in communities affected. Radical change is upsetting to everyone involved; a detailed story helps visualize the problem. He makes a good point.

          On the other hand, the Lehman comment is off topic.

          If personal stories are a problem, think-tank endorsed language with charts are always an option.

          1. LeeAanne

            I misssesd this:

            “(One of my heros of this financial crisis is the Lehman accounting guy that wrote a memo about the shady accounting and was promptly fired.)”

            followed by this in another of your comments:

            “PS The executive that was fired because he blew the whistle at Lehman was asian.”

            aren’t you grand for admiring an Asian!!!!! -my, my

          2. DownSouth

            LeeAnne said: “Fascism is not only alive and well in the US, it is generally not appreciated that it is simultaneously a top-down phenom and in your case, bottom-up simultaneously; a kind of spiral that gives it force, if you will.”

            That’s an extremely important observation.

            The subject of class has become taboo in America. On the extreme right (“top-down”) you have those who brand anyone who wants to talk about class as being “a Communist.” On the New Left (“bottom-up”) you have those like PityTheBankers who view the entire universe through the prism of race, and who conflate issues of race with issues of class.

            It is undeniable that centuries of structural racism have created a black population with a disproportionate share of lumpenproletariat. It is also true that this lumpenproletariat is then used to justify racism. As Martin Luther King put it, “it is a tortuous logic that views the tragic results of segregation and discrimination as an argument for the continuation of it.”

            Furthermore, it is also true that racism is still alive and well in the United States. I’d peg the percentage of overt racists at 24%, pretty much mirroring the same percentage that believe that President Obama was not born in the United States. But great strides have been made in this regard. A majority did, after all, vote for Barak Obama.

            But as the racial barriers to personal achievement and class mobility have slowly come down, it has exposed another ugly feature of American society, and that is that there are other impediments to “picking oneself up by the bootstraps” besides racial barriers. For the unbeautiful truth is that class mobility in “the land of opportunity” is fairly uncommon. Yves posted something on this the other day, citing empirical evidence that shows the US doesn’t compare well to other developed countries when it comes to class mobility. So in the United States there are structural barriers to “picking oneself up by the bootstraps,” and one’s failure to do so cannot all be attributed to a lack of ambition and hard work, as the extreme right would have us believe, or to racism, as the New Left would have us believe.

            No one of course wants to be around the lumpenproletariat, including proletarians like Johnson (I make this assumption based on the $49,500 to $80,000 price range of houses in the neighborhood he says he lives in). The limousine liberals of the New Left can of course wall themselves off in their gated communities. However, this is a luxury not available to working class people who are forced to deal with the lumpenproletariat on a daily basis.

            Improving the lot of the lumpenproletariat has proven to be an intractable problem. I do not know what the solution is. But neither does the New Left, despite its conviction that its causes are entirely racial. Martin Luther King leveled this criticism against the racist right-wing, but I think it applies to the New Left as well: “They fail to see that poverty, and disease, and ignorance breed crime whatever the racial group may be.”

          3. Jackrabbit

            Johnson muddled his point by making race an issue. The bankers took advantage of anyone they could. Lets put the blame where it belongs and not use language to scapegoat.

            He also seems heartless by blaming one class of victims for his and his neighbors financial losses (mostly paper losses). Again, they, as a group, are victims as much as (maybe more than, ) Johnson and his neighbors.

            I’m sorry that you can’t see this.

          4. Jackrabbit

            LeeAanne says:
            . . . aren’t you grand for admiring an Asian!!!!! -my, my

            You take my note that he was Asian out of context . . .
            I don’t admire him any more or less because he’s Asian. In the context of scapegoating other races, I wanted to point out that this non-white Lehman guy had stood up to Johnson’s REAL enemy.

            . . . and your snide remark shows why.
            Its really just about race for you. You probably think that integrity is something that only white people can possess.

            Well as you noted in your first comment: “Hypocrisy and narrow mindedness are well represented here.”

          5. DownSouth

            Oh, I do see it.

            Martin Luther King struggled to forge some solidarity between blacks and labor, as is made clarion in his speech “If the Negro Wins, Labor Wins.”

            The right-wing of course endeavors to make sure this alliance never materializes.

            And the New Left seems just as determined to destroy solidarity between labor and blacks.

            I’m sorry, but I don’t see Johnson as being some racist monster. He maybe a little confused and inarticulate, but nothing a little guidance and understanding couldn’t overcome. But he didn’t get guidance and understanding. What he got was ridicule.

            You’re driving a wedge between yourself and the very people that, as MLK saw clearly, are your natural allies. Or as LeeAnne put it: “An excess of sensitivity could be more productively expressed elsewhere,” like against the banksters.

          6. Jackrabbit

            DownSouth says:

            Oh, I do see it.
            I’m not sure what you are referring to. LeeAanne’s hypocracy and narrowmindedness?

            And the New Left seems just as determined to destroy solidarity between labor and blacks.
            I’m making a simple point. Blowing it up into “destroying solidarity” is a bit much.

            I’m sorry, but I don’t see Johnson as being some racist monster. He maybe a little confused and inarticulate, but nothing a little guidance and understanding couldn’t overcome. But he didn’t get guidance and understanding. What he got was ridicule.
            I didn’t say he was a “rascist monster.” Why the hyperbole? I understand what he was trying to say. His beef is with the bankers but the language that he used was insensitive and thoughtless and amounted to a racist remark – however inadvertent that may have been.

            You’re driving a wedge between yourself and the very people that, as MLK saw clearly, are your natural allies. Or as LeeAnne put it: “An excess of sensitivity could be more productively expressed elsewhere,” like against the banksters.
            “MLK . . . your natural allies?”
            I think you’re assuming that I’m black. I’m not.

            “excess of sensitivity . . . against the banksters”
            My ire IS directed at the bankers. Johnson and I agree on that. But lets lay the blame where it belongs (the bankers) and not muddle the message with racial remarks that imply that “ghetto nonwhites” bear some responsibility.

          7. Jackrabbit


            Oh, I see that when you said “I see it” you were referring to the comment BEFORE the last comment.

            I’m glad that you see those points. I hope that LeeAanne will too.

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