Archive for June, 2010

Training Wheels Go Flat

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

What if you created an army but found that 75% of it couldn’t be left on its own to do anything?

What if you created a police force but found that 88% of it couldn’t be left on its own to do anything?

What if an “elite” police group lost 75% of its members in a year?

What if 1 out of every 6 soldiers in the army and 1 out of every 8 policemen were absent without leave?

Why, you’d be describing Afghanistan, of course, and the miserable failure, after nearly 9 years there, to create an Afghan force that can take over losing a civil war to the Taliban.

Gorilla says: “War is training the trainers by other means!”


Fire Away: The Supremes Reload

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Back in the 80s, the fear among liberals was that if Reagan was elected/re-elected, it might mean a very conservative Supreme Court taking on the right to abortion.

Turns out, it took another 30 years for this fear to be realized. We now have a Supreme Court subservient entirely to the interests of big business, and entirely subservient to the gun lobby.

Gorilla says: “The same five clowns hopefully will be shot out of a cannon one day!”


Uprootin’ The Bad Spruiten

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Let’s see, Belgium, a country with a long history of not doing very much to prevent pedophilia, is now under attack by the Catholic Church for investigating pedophilia!!!

The church itself has nothing to complain about, since the rule of law was tossed aside by the Vatican for decades in favor of cover-ups and denial. When civil authorities start seeing the Church as a criminal conspiracy, you can’t hide behind outrage and comparisons to the Communist era (the Belgians are worse than the communists? Puhlease…).

Gorilla says: “Getting underneath the cassock provides a window into some very bankrupt souls!”


A Dinosaur Keels Over

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Senator Robert Byrd, who should have retired at least a decade ago, has now died.

What was his legacy? Lots of pork for West Virginia, yet very little progress forwards by West Virginia from backwards poverty, guns, and God, and, like many Senators, decades in office without anyone being able to say: “If it wasn’t for Senator ___, we wouldn’t have ___”.

Gorilla says: “Farewell, mastodon, don’t let the tar pits stick on your way out!”


Resolved: To Continue Being Stupid

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Yes, it’s the G-20 summit, which ordinarily accomplishes nothing but this week has decided to do something about budget deficits!

Why? Because the Germans fear inflation and the rest think that markets want to see some pain.

It’s certainly not because of economics, which would suggest that governments run larger deficits now to deal with a global output gap in the trillions.

And so, as Krugman and other have pointed out, we’re staring at a decade of piffling growth and a permanently unemployed underclass in most developed nations.

Oh, and all those righteous promises to rein in the power of the banks? Good luck with that!

Gorilla says: “You can’t abrogate responsibility much worse than they do at the G-20


Plenty Of Lots Available

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

New home sales? Down bigtime, no surprise after the end of the hugely wasteful home buyer tax credit.

And loads of inventory is still awaiting the market, so the guess here is that prices will need to decline another 10% or more. Not everywhere, but certainly in the overbuilt bubble neighborhoods.

Gorilla says: “It’s not an investment, it’s a home!”


No DOMA Obama

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

The Administration wants everyone in the world to know that gay rights are human rights!!!

Hilary Clinton is on the case!!!

And of course the easiest way to help ensure that gay rights are human rights is to jettison the infamous Defense Of Marriage Act, signed into law by Hillary’s husband, former President Clinton.

Instead, we get lots of very small measures (extending benefits to the partners of government employees, giving the Pentagon another year to dump Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a few more additions to the list of hate crimes), but very little that goes to the heart of the gay rights issue: equal protection under the law.

The Administration should be challenging anti-gay legislation through the Justice Department, or proposing to extend the Civil Rights Act to all Americans, but so far it’s been lots of sympathetic noises and not much willingness to confront the hatred and bigotry that is promoted by the Know Nothing Party.

Gorilla says: “Actions, not words, actions, not words!”


Cater Whaling

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Well, another year, another round of talks going nowhere on whaling!

This time, as every time, it’s Japan to blame, followed closely by Norway and Iceland. They want their whales, and, like most fishermen, will gladly fish them out of the sea.

Gorilla says: “Nothing but blubbering to see here!”


Losing With Contempt

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Our general in Afghanistan doesn’t have much respect for the civilian leaders who command him.

What’s really apparent is the very large ego that holds up these losing generals. The “surge” strategy has not actually worked, in either Iraq or Afghanistan. We’ve lost both wars, spent several trillion dollars and the people who attacked us remain at large. It’s a total failure for which no one wants to take any responsibility.

Gorilla says: “When no one’s in charge, the boss get blamed!”


Killing Off Free Speech Again

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

The Supremes love the rights of corporations to spend money buying whoever they like, but they’re not so keen on individual Americans using their right to free speech to lawfully assist those classified as “terrorist’ organizations.

It’s a page right out of the McCarthyite playbook, and not terribly surprising given that the Court is dominated by 5 very right wing, very misogynistic, and very hateful men.

Gorilla says: “We can only express the hope that these guys grow old quickly!”