Thursday, October 22, 2009

YOWL

Robert McLachlan found this in an old 80's issue of The New Republic, and was even nice enough to convert it to HTML himself! I suffered through the Reagan-happy years of the 1980's, and I think this is a pretty cool parody.

YOWL
On the 30th anniversary of "Howl."

CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY
PAUL SLANSKY
D.C.-L.A.-D.C. 1986
For Jay McInerney

I

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by stress frazzled overtired burnt-out
jogging through suburban streets at dawn as suggested by the late James Fixx,
career-minded yupsters burning for an Amstel Light watching Stupid Pet Tricks,
who upwardly mobile and designer'd and bright-eyed and high sat up working in the track-lit glow of the Tribeca loft skimming through the Day Timer while padding the expense account,
who passed through universities and saved their asses hallucinating Grateful Dead posters and eating Sara Lee while watching the war on TV,
who were graduated and went on to law schools burning to save the world,
who brewed decaffinated coffee doing their yoga in alligator shirts and listening to the latest Windham Hill Sampler,
who ate chocolate croissants in outdoor café s and drank blush wine on Columbus Avenue washed down with a little Percodan with Dove bars with Diet coke with Lean Cuisine,
stopping by on the way home for a pound of David's cookies telling each other of their fears on intimacy and their need for space and inability to commit - for now,
who watched Mary Tyler Moore reruns and wept for Rhoda and worried about acid rain and the mercury in the swordfish while strung out on cyclamates faces flushed with MSG even after specifically making a point of mentioning to the waiter not to put it in,
who prowled through uncertain money markets chewing Tums and doing lines with the Hispanics in the mail room sitting in the gents with baby-laxative runs while the boss buzzes and the secretary says you're on the phone to Bonn,
who stayed up too late working out their relationships 'n' things feeling the gnawing rat-fear that they hadn't been communicating lately and the urgent pounding screaming need to think about their priorities,
yacketayakking analyzing thinking it through making constructive suggestions as the eastern sky flamed in raw Ralph Lauren pastels, ...

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Musicians seek secret U.S. documents on music-related human rights abuses at Guantanamo

On behalf of a coalition of U.S. and international musicians, including R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Tom Morello and Jackson Brown, the National Security Archive today filed a series of FOIA petitions requesting the full declassification of secret U.S. documentation on the strategy of using music as an interrogation device at Guantanamo and other detention centers.

The Archive also posted several declassified documents and published reports that refer to the use of "loud" music to "create futility" in uncooperative detainees at Guantanamo. A 2004 Defense Department report on abuses at the military base in Cuba, for example, stated that the "futility technique included the playing of Metallica, Britney Spears and Rap music."

Archive analysts filed the FOIA requests with the CIA, U.S. Special Operations Command, and the FBI, among other agencies, requesting all documentation pertaining to how the music was chosen and the specific role it played in interrogations of detainees at the Guantanamo base.

"At Guantanamo, the U.S. government turned a jukebox into an instrument of torture," said Thomas Blanton, the Archive's executive director. "The musicians and the public have the right to know how an expression of popular culture was transformed into an enhanced interrogation technique."

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Second International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR)

The Second IAMR in Athens, 01. - 04. Nov 2009, is an assembly where migrants and refugees speak for themselves through their grassroots organizations supported by a broad spectrum of migrants rights advocates, progressive workers' groups and social movements.

The First IAMR held in Manila, Philippines last October 2008, embodied the autonomous voice of the migrants and refugees through their own gathering. It challenged the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) process and its agenda of promoting migration for development through remittances. The IAMR in Manila presented the true picture of modern slavery in labor migration and debunked the notion of development by exporting human labor.

The Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD)

The 3rd Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) will be held in Athens, Greece on November 4-5, 2009. The first was held in Brussels in July 2007 and the second in Manila in October 2008. The GFMD is a multilateral and state-led initiative under the aegis of the United Nations (UN). It purports to facilitate dialogue among sending and receiving countries, but in reality, the rich countries dictate the agenda and main thrusts in the GFMD. They impose their own self-serving concept of development and define the modalities in "managing" the flow of cross-border migration.

Two things make the GFMD in Athens particularly significant. It will take place in the midst of the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression. It will also take place in Europe where migrant workers particularly the millions of undocumented face an uncertain future in an increasingly unfriendly environment with the imminent implementation in 2010 of the EU Return Directive.

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Dr. Helen Caldicott: The medical and economic costs of nuclear power

Jennifer Nordstrom, co-ordinator of the Carbon-Free Nuclear-Free project has noted “Telling states to build new nuclear plants to combat global warming is like telling a patient to smoke to lose weight.”

A recent study sponsored by the German government (the KiKK study - Kaatsch P, Spix C, Schultze-Rath R, et al. Leukemia in young children living in the vicinity of German nuclear power plants. Int J Cancer. 2008; 1220:721-726,) examined children who lived near 16 of the country's commercial nuclear power plants. The results revealed a strongly increased risk of all childhood cancers, particularly leukaemia, the closer the proximity of the children's residence to the reactor. In particular, the study found that children less than the age five years, living within a 5km radius of the power plant exhaust stacks were more than twice as likely to develop leukaemia compared with those children residing more that 5km away. The KiKK team studied other carcinogenic factors which may be responsible for the cancer clusters but none were found.

Another large study (Baker PJ, Hoel DG. Meta-analysis of standardized incidence and mortality rates of childhood leukemia in proximity to nuclear facilities. Eur J Cancer Care. 2007:16:355-363) - a meta-analysis of the incidence and mortality rates of childhood leukaemia in children living near 138 nuclear facilities in Britain, Canada, Spain, Germany, the US and Japan also demonstrated a statistically significant rate of leukaemia in children less than nine years of age.

A further large review (Laurier D, Jacob S, Bernier MO, et al. Epidemiological studies of leukemia in children and young adults around nuclear facilities: A critical review. Rad Prot Dosim. 2008; 132:182- 190) of children and young adults living near 198 nuclear sites in 10 countries was found to be compatible with the study described above.

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Reviewing Danny Schechter's 'The Crime of Our Time'

"... The Crime of Our Time is his latest attempt to explain "the financial collapse as a crime story (and) the high status white-collar crooks" who wreak havoc on "the lives of hundreds of millions worldwide." He quotes from author and labor activist Jonathan Tasini in his new book, The Audacity of Greed, saying:

"Over the past quarter century, we have lived through the greatest looting of wealth in human history." While an elite few profited hugely, "the vast majority of citizens have lived through a period of falling wages, disappearing pensions, and dwindling bank accounts, all of which led to the personal debt crisis that lies at the root of the current financial meltdown."

The fallout cost millions of Americans their jobs, homes, savings, and futures, the result of a Washington - Wall Street criminal cabal and their scandalous conspiracy against the US public. In the Crime of Our Time, Schechter, once again, does a superb job explaining it astutely, thoroughly, and clearly.

Introduction - Our Time and Financial Crime

(1) In Wall Street We Trust

Once again, the major media betrayed the public by cheerleading the inflating market bubbles, ignoring the cause and Wall Street/Washington's role, then downplaying the severity of the crisis that has a long way to run. Instead their reasoning goes: "we are all to blame, guilty of greed, over-spending and under-saving," so "when everyone's at fault, no one can be held responsible."

Yet capitalism's internal contradictions make it crisis-prone, unstable, ungovernable, and self-destructive because of its repeated cycles of booms creating bubbles, creating busts, then depressions, and inevitably decay and demise. ..."

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Thomas Pynchon: Inherent Vice



Part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon— private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog. View more: http://us.penguingroup.com

'I believe one of the goals of the swine flu vaccine is depopulation'

From Swine Flu: What I Believe by Catherine Austin Fitts:

...As my efforts to find ways of reengineering government investment in communities failed to win political support, Washington and Wall Street moved forward with a debt bubble and globalization that was horrifying in its implications for humanity.

Overwhelmed by what was happening, I estimated the end result. My simple calculations guessed that we were going to achieve economic sustainability on Earth by depopulating down to a population of approximately 500 million people from our then current global population of 6 billion.  I was a portfolio strategist used to looking at numbers from a very high level. Those around me could not fathom how all the different threads I was integrating could lead to such a conclusion.  To me, we had to have radical change in how we governed resources or depopulate. It was a mathematical result.

A year later, in 1999, a very capable investment and portfolio strategist asked me if he could come have a private lunch with me in Washington. We sat in a posh restaurant across from the Capitol. He said quietly that he had calculated out where the derivatives and debt bubble combined with globalization were going. The only logical conclusion he could reach was that significant depopulation was going to occur. He said his estimates led to an approximate population of 500 million. I said very quietly, “that's my estimate too.” I will never forget the look of sadness that crossed his face.  I was amazed to find someone else who understood.

It turns out that we were not alone. Sir James Goldsmith had warned of the consequences of GATT in 1994. He described the process under way, involving the loss of land and livelihood for 3 billion people, “…This is the establishment against the rest of society.”  Voices were rising around the planet as hardships exploded from global economic warfare and industrialization of agriculture.

As trillions of dollars were shifted out of America by legal and illegal means to reinvest in Asia and emerging markets and to build a global military empire, we left a sovereign nation economic model behind. Finally, the expense and corruption of empire resulted in bailouts of $12-14 trillion, delivering a new financial war chest to the people leading the financial engineering. Now we have exploding unemployment, an exploding federal deficit, an Inspector General for the TARP bailout program predicting that the ultimate bailout cost could rise to $23.7 trillion and a Congressional Budget Director who is concluding that we can no longer afford the social safety net.

That is, unless you change the actuarial assumptions in the budget – like life expectancy. Lowering immune systems and increasing toxicity levels combined with poor food, water and terrorizing stress will help do the trick. Review the history of vaccines rushed into production without proper testing and peer review - it is clear about the potential side effects. In addition, a plague can so frighten and help control people that they will accept the end of their current benefits (and the resulting implications to life expectancy) without objection. And a plague with proper planning can be highly profitable. Whatever the truth of what swine flu and related vaccines are, it can be used as a way to keep control in a situation that is quickly shifting out of control. ...

~ more... ~

Catherine Austin Fitts on Goldman Sachs

Catherine Austin Fitts and Max Kaiser discuss Goldman Sachs, Wall Street and the criminals within.



"... This has reached the point where these guys need to be worried about the safety of their families. ..."

The rich have stolen the economy

Paul Craig Roberts writes in Op-Ed News:

Bloomberg reports that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's closest aides earned millions of dollars a year working for Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and other Wall Street firms. Bloomberg reports that none of these aides faced Senate confirmation. Yet, they are overseeing the handout of hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer funds to their former employers.

The gifts of billions of dollars of taxpayers' money provided the banks with an abundance of low cost capital that has boosted the banks' profits, while the taxpayers who provided the capital are increasingly unemployed and homeless.

JPMorgan Chase announced that it has earned $3.6 billion in the third quarter of this year.

Goldman Sachs has made so much money during this year of economic crisis that enormous bonuses are in the works. London Evening Standard reports that Goldman Sachs' “5,500 London staff can look forward to record average payouts of around 500,000 pounds ($800,000) each. Senior executives will get bonuses of several million pounds each with the highest paid as much as 10 million pounds ($16 million).“

In the event the banksters can't figure out how to enjoy the riches, the Financial Times is offering a new magazine--”How To Spend It.” New York City's retailers are praying for some of it, suffering a 15.3% vacancy rate on Fifth Avenue. Statistician John Williams (shadowstats.com) reports that retail sales adjusted for inflation have declined to the level of 10 years ago: “Virtually 10 years worth of real retail sales growth has been destroyed in the still unfolding depression.”

Meanwhile, New York City's homeless shelters have reached the all time high of 39,000, 16,000 of whom are children.

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'Hell' as an invention of the church



John Shelby Spong, retired Episcopal bishop from Newark, N.J., talks about why Christianity must change its view of hell. Spong is one of the leading spokepersons for liberal Christianity.

PBS Frontline: 'The Warning'

"We didn't truly know the dangers of the market, because it was a dark market," says Brooksley Born, the head of an obscure federal regulatory agency -- the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC] -- who not only warned of the potential for economic meltdown in the late 1990s, but also tried to convince the country's key economic powerbrokers to take actions that could have helped avert the crisis. "They were totally opposed to it," Born says. "That puzzled me. What was it that was in this market that had to be hidden?"

In The Warning, veteran FRONTLINE producer Michael Kirk unearths the hidden history of the nation's worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. At the center of it all he finds Brooksley Born, who speaks for the first time on television about her failed campaign to regulate the secretive, multitrillion-dollar derivatives market whose crash helped trigger the financial collapse in the fall of 2008.

"I didn't know Brooksley Born," says former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt, a member of President Clinton's powerful Working Group on Financial Markets. "I was told that she was irascible, difficult, stubborn, unreasonable." Levitt explains how the other principals of the Working Group -- former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin -- convinced him that Born's attempt to regulate the risky derivatives market could lead to financial turmoil, a conclusion he now believes was "clearly a mistake."

Born's battle behind closed doors was epic, Kirk finds. The members of the President's Working Group vehemently opposed regulation -- especially when proposed by a Washington outsider like Born.

"I walk into Brooksley's office one day; the blood has drained from her face," says Michael Greenberger, a former top official at the CFTC who worked closely with Born. "She's hanging up the telephone; she says to me: 'That was [former Assistant Treasury Secretary] Larry Summers. He says, "You're going to cause the worst financial crisis since the end of World War II."... [He says he has] 13 bankers in his office who informed him of this. Stop, right away. No more.'"

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Cold War remnant: Cancer for Baby Boomers

Even with a half-century's hindsight, the U.S. government's willingness to risk the health of the nation's children seems somewhere between unfathomable and unconscionable.

Between 1951 and 1962, the Atomic Energy Commission detonated more than 100 nuclear bombs in the atmosphere over its Nevada Test Site, just 65 miles from Las Vegas. The radioactive fallout menaced not only the ranchers and the miners unlucky enough to live in that remote area of southern Nevada, but -- as a new study unveiled Tuesday demonstrated -- untold millions of unsuspecting Americans as well.

The winds carried Strontium-90, Iodine-129 and other lethal particles across a broad swath of the country. Infants who were bottle-fed, which was then considered the modern approach, were particularly vulnerable to the Strontium-90 that ended up in cows' milk.

In 1961, as John Kennedy was poised to resume atmospheric testing after a two-year moratorium, he met with White House science adviser Jerome Wiesner in the Oval Office one rainy day. The president wondered how fallout reached the earth. Wiesner explained that it was washed out of the clouds by rain. "You mean," Kennedy asked, "it's in the rain out there?" As Wiesner tells it, the president then "looked out the window, looked very sad and didn't say a word for several minutes." Nonetheless JFK, fearful that the Soviet Union might score a nuclear breakthrough, authorized a new round of above-ground testing before negotiating the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963.

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