Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for August 23rd, 2010

Warren for sheriff!

Posted by Charles II on August 23, 2010

From CNBC of all places, the rap video, Elizabeth Warren for Sheriff of Wall Street:

Posted in greed, Just for fun, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Sowing The Callous Bigot Wind, Reaping The Crazy Threat-Happy Bigot Whirlwind

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 23, 2010

Spotty over at The Cucking Stool talks about his neighbor Ben, a local right-wing blogger who apparently has a strange idea of bravery and morality:

Ben is my neighbor, a twenty-something who lives at home; Ben has always been beside himself over my blogging, but it has come to a head in the last year. I’ve never written about Ben. Well, until now, that is.

At a neighborhood party for a high school gradate last spring (well, last last spring, 2009), he came up to me and my wife and started swearing in a spittle-flecked rage, and nearly worked himself up into some kind of a seizure. His mom and dad weren’t there, and some of our neighbors took him in hand and led him away.

Shortly before the Fourth of July parade in 2009, Ben sent me an email and told me not to come around to the parade, because I would get more of the same, and that he intended to clear the neighborhood of the likes of me so it would be a place for “decent folks.” (Ben had, perhaps, been watching too many old Westerns with their “This town ain’t big enough for the both of us” rhetoric.) Here’s the Tea Party impulse to eject the undesirables at work again. Well, for whatever reason, we didn’t run into Ben at the parade.

A few days after the parade, however, Ben sent me an email threatening to put my wife “in my crosshairs.” Ben has commented favorably about guns on Mitch’s site; I viewed — and view, especially considering his earlier behavior and remarks  — that comment as a terroristic threat, made against a family member. I did make a complaint to the Edina Police, and they investigated.

So, that’s it. Well, actually, there is more, but we’ll leave it at that.

No comment needed, because those who actually would most need to read it would rather gargle Drano than read it.

Posted in blogger ethics, blogs and blogging, conservativism, Minnesota, narcissism, stupid, Tea Party, terrorism, wrong way to go about it | 2 Comments »

Who Are Al-Qaeda’s Best Friends? Franklin Graham And Pam Geller Are Two Of Them

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 23, 2010

As is anyone who pushes the anti-Park51 bigotry.

That was made clear today, as David Dayen points out at the other blog where I write, Fire Dog Lake. Jihadist websites are posting up news articles on things like the threatened Koran burning in Florida and the whole right-wing-created Park51 bigotry-fest and using them as tools to radicalize people against the US, and convince them that the people of America cannot peacefully tolerate any Muslims at all.

Sadly, this was all predicted nearly six years ago. From Doug “Pericles” Muder’s seminal Kos diary, Terrorist Strategy 101: A Quiz:

Question 2: In radicalizing your sympathizers, who is your best ally?

No points awarded for “the media” or “sympathetic foreign governments”. In radicalizing your apathetic sympathizers, you have no better ally than the violent extremists on the other side . Only they can convince your people that compromise is impossible. Only they can raise your countrymen’s level of fear and despair to the point that large numbers are willing to take up arms and follow your lead. A few blown up apartment buildings and dead schoolchildren will get you more recruits than the best revolutionary tracts ever written.

Perversely, this means that you are the best ally of the extremists on the other side. That doesn’t mean you love or even talk to each other — they are, after all, vile and despicable demons. But at this stage in the process your interests align. Both of you want to invert the bell curve, to flatten out that big hump in the middle and drive people to the edges. That’s why extremists come in pairs: Caesar and Pompey, the Nazis and the Communists, Sharon and Arafat, Bush and Bin Laden. Each side needs a demonic opposite in order to galvanize its supporters.

Naive observers frequently decry the apparent counter-productivity of extremist attacks. Don’t the leaders of Hamas understand that every suicide bombing makes the Israelis that much more determined not to give the Palestinians a state? Don’t they realize that the Israeli government will strike back even harder, and inflict even more suffering on the Palestinian people? Of course they do; they’re not idiots. The Israeli response is exactly what they’re counting on. More airstrikes, more repression, more poverty — fewer opportunities for normal life to get in the way of the Great Struggle.

The cycle of violence may be vicious, but it is not pointless. Each round of strike-and-counterstrike makes the political center less tenable. The surviving radical leaders on each side energize their respective bases and cement their respective holds on power. The first round of the playoffs is always the two extremes against the center. Only after the center is vanquished will you meet your radical counterparts in the championship round.


Question 4: What is Bin Laden’s immediate goal?

If you’ve been paying attention, you should get this one right: His immediate goal is to radicalize the hundreds of millions of Muslims who sympathize with the vision of a restored Caliphate, but have better things to do with their lives than join the jihad. A particular problem for Bin Laden are all the Muslims who think that they can find an acceptable place for themselves in a world order dominated by the United States.

I won’t insult your intelligence by asking you who his best allies are in reaching this goal: President Bush, obviously, and all of the neo-conservatives in the Pentagon who push for the most aggressive response to the terrorist threat. Also the Christian leaders like Franklin (son of Billy) Graham, who regularly denounce Islam in terms that look fabulous on Al Qaeda’s equivalent of the locker-room bulletin board. John Ashcroft — and anyone else who mistreats assimilating Arabs and thereby convinces them that they will never really be welcome in America — is also an ally.

It doesn’t matter how much they hate him or denounce his deeds; anyone who radicalizes Muslims is doing Bin Laden’s work for him. President Bush may as well have been reading from an Al Qaeda script when he referred to the War on Terror as a “crusade”. Muslims know their history and know exactly what a crusade is: Christians invade and steal your land. People who didn’t believe this when they heard it from Bin Laden have now heard it from the Crusader-in-Chief.

FOX News and the other Cons like to paint themselves as super-smart hyper-patriots. If they really were, they wouldn’t be pushing people’s bigotry buttons on this issue just to score political points.

Posted in 2010, anti-Americanism, anti-Muslim, Islam, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, Rupert Murdoch, WTF? | 3 Comments »

Johann Hari On The Management-Consultancy Scam

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 23, 2010

Hari tells you pretty much what you either suspected or already knew from bitter experience:

He [David Craig, former management consultant and author of the industry exposé Rip Off!] worked to a simple model, which is common in the industry. He had to watch how a workforce behaved for a week – and then tell the company’s bosses, every time, that they had 30 percent too many staff and only his consultancy could figure out who should be culled. If he calculated they actually had the right amount of staff, he was told by his bosses not to be so ridiculous and do his sums again: where was the money for them in a properly-staffed company? The company had to be POPed – People Off Payroll.

Of course, this advice was often disastrous. His company was sent into a chain of 500 menswear shops. They advised them to cut staff by (surprise!) 30 per cent, and to replace most full-time staff with part-timers. The result? The full-time employees had been highly motivated, because they wanted a career in the company; the part-timers only wanted a little extra cash. So motivation levels in the company collapsed, and with it the standard of service. The company was bankrupt within a few years.

Yes, you might say, but surely he was just a bad management consultant. The rest must get results. The evidence suggests not. The Cranfield School of Management studied 170 companies who had used management consultants, and it discovered just 36 per cent of them were happy with the outcome – while two thirds judged them to be useless or harmful. A medicine with that failure-rate would be taken off the shelves.

Sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it?

Posted in capitalism as cancer, frauds | 2 Comments »

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