Wednesday, 8/24/11, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

63 responses to “Wednesday, 8/24/11, Public Square

  1. Why Iceland Should Be in the News, But Is Not

    An Italian radio program’s story about Iceland’s on-going revolution is a stunning example of how little our media tells us about the rest of the world. Americans may remember that at the start of the 2008 financial crisis, Iceland literally went bankrupt. The reasons were mentioned only in passing, and since then, this little-known member of the European Union fell back into oblivion.

    As one European country after another fails or risks failing, imperiling the Euro, with repercussions for the entire world, the last thing the powers that be want is for Iceland to become an example. Here’s why:

    Five years of a pure neo-liberal regime had made Iceland, (population 320 thousand, no army), one of the richest countries in the world. In 2003 all the country’s banks were privatized, and in an effort to attract foreign investors, they offered on-line banking whose minimal costs allowed them to offer relatively high rates of return. The accounts, called IceSave, attracted many English and Dutch small investors. But as investments grew, so did the banks’ foreign debt. In 2003 Iceland’s debt was equal to 200 times its GNP, but in 2007, it was 900 percent. The 2008 world financial crisis was the coup de grace. The three main Icelandic banks, Landbanki, Kapthing and Glitnir, went belly up and were nationalized, while the Kroner lost 85% of its value with respect to the Euro. At the end of the year Iceland declared bankruptcy.

    continue reading at

    • Robert

      Fnord, I read the article, that’s scary. So I guess that’s what the 700b tarp bill was. American way of stiffing the people, but so far it’s worked. The big cat in the bag I think is we have no idea how much money the banks really owe in this country. I’ve heard a figure that even makes me nervous to even mention. Economist are saying if all those countries in Europe fall you can kiss are banks and economy good-bye.
      That’s why I went out and bought a Corvette. Maybe dumb economics, but I’ll bet the wife and I have fun before the bas. take all are money.

    • We could save on clean air if all conservatives would just stop breathing. And just think how many jobs would be made available, too!

    • Harriet Hayes: I don’t even know what the sides are in the culture wars.

      Matt Albie: Well, your side hates my side because you think we think you are stupid, and my side hates your side because we think you are stupid.

      Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Nevada Day, Part I

      Studio 60 was a great show! And thanks to small minds, it lasted one season. That’s what happens when the new head at NBC doesn’t like liberalism.

  2. That “Super Branch” really bothers me. I can’t see where it’s constitutional in any way. Maybe I don’t understand how it’s supposed to work, but I haven’t had representation since… well, since birth, considering I live in Kansas. How are these 12 (6, not counting those working totally against me) going to represent me? Have they sent around a Q&A to find out what my concerns are and my opinions are on what can be done? Do they have a clue what my life is like and how I might be affected by any laws they pass or involved in passing?

    Oh, that’s right. I don’t matter.

    • Asher Bob White

      You’re on to something, here, Wicked. Democray? No way. More ready access for corruption in gov’t? You bet. All 12 will soon be much richer. And this will not be whatever is “good” for the US.

  3. Someone most of us know had the most interesting Facebook exchange yesterday. The conversation began when our friend asked this question:

    “…as a frequent world traveler, and presuming that the present dismantling of America continues, I’m curious as to where would be your preferred expat destination?”

    It was a very interesting and insightful conversation! And it got me thinking whether or not any of you have thought of this subject and what your thoughts might be.

    Here was the original answer to the question:

    “I have been preparing a few places for such a situation over the last 10 years. We have a lovely place in Cholula Puebla, Mexico. (Beautiful colonial city of 2mil people, culture, food, lifestyle) Mexico also has a large economy and is a good market for the arts. If work were no issue, The Republic of Georgia is simply perfect. So really, Mexico. Europe is good too, Spain, France are great.

    It is really terrible that the promise of America is being destroyed by the very people who would profit most by being protected from corporations in unrestrained markets. Coming soon… FEUDALISM! Yeah! It worked great the first time…”

    • prairie pond

      I’d go to Canada if the weather was better. But since it’s not…

      I’ve thought of Spain or South Africa. Gay marriage is legal in both places, and the weather is better. I’m leaning toward Spain.

      I’ve often thought of leaving the country, permanently. Since I come from a family of immigrants, with all four grandparents being born in a foreign country, it does not seem so radical.

      My ancestors left an oppressive regime where we were hated by our fellow countrymen. Jake, Molly, Eva and Henry were seeking freedom from government sanctioned religion, and looking for at least enough economic opportunity to not starve to death or die of easily treated diseases.

      Sound familiar? It certainly does for me. Given my economic situation and lack of access to healthcare, I’ve often sat on the steps of my farmhouse, built by my grandfather Jake almost a hundred years ago, and contemplated what he would do.

      I know the answer, because he did it before. He sucked it up and moved halfway around the world, leaving behind his family and language, and went somewhere he could be free and live the life he chose. He didn’t really know how life in the new country would be, but he was pretty sure it would be better than the life he had there.

      Isn’t it a pity that over 100 years later, his granddaughter may be forced, for the same reasons, to leave the place he built, The place he thought would be his family’s home forever.

      “When fascism comes to America..” comes to mind. I hope someday I have the same strength that Jake did. “Cause I sure as hell have no hope that life here, in the span of my lifetime, will improve for me and

      • indypendent

        I think you hit the nail on its head – FASCISM.

        For all the Far Right Religious-Types Republicans demonizing Socialism and Communism – I wonder if they have even looked up how their Tea Party Express funding source made their family fortune?

      • Robert

        Prairie Pond, Where are you going to go? The corporations own the World. I think one of these days people will finally have enough of the corporation rule and make a stand. My guess it will be right here in the USA.

      • I hate to say it, but Robert has a point. Corptocracy has gone Global. That’s been the plan all along. They’ve globalize everything, telling us that “making the world smaller” is to our advantage. And we swallowed it. Shame on us.

        Of course the Republicans and other ‘conservatives’ (and I use that term very loosely) will continue to say that it’s Obama’s fault. It isn’t even Bush’s fault! This began long, long ago.

        I’ll remind everyone that many of the people in Washington during Kennedy’s short term were Dubya’s advisers and held important jobs in the WH. None of this is new. It’s just growing big enough that we now have begun to realize that the screwing we’ve been getting isn’t pleasant, as they told us it was. It’s downright painful.

      • W.R.Locke

        Pond, check Poland. You’ll be surprised. A lot of Americans retire there.

    • Wow. I’m not sure. I haven’t thought that far…away. I’d like to get out of the neighborhood where I live. I’ve spent 2/3 of my life not living in this city. Some family members and I have talked about moving to Texas. Yeah, I know. From one red state to another. But we all have friends there. There are several of my H.S. with who live there, plus others I’ve met since then.

      I wouldn’t like Mexico. I’ve been there. I’ve seen the two classes: rich and dirt poor. While it’s beautiful on the surface, in reality it isn’t a whole lot different than what we’re becoming here. Besides, it’s hot. LOL

      Europe? Yeah, I could see that. But where in Europe is the economy good? No sense going somewhere that’s going to have a total economic crash. I once thought Ireland, because artists (painters, writers, musicians) pay not income tax. 😉

      It’s a little late in my life to become an expat. I guess I’ll just have to stay and deal with watching my country go tits up.

      • indypendent

        I am in the same boat as wicked – it’s too late in my life to pick up and move. Now if my kids and grandkids were to join my husband and me, then that would be a different story.

        My husband was adopted by his father and mother when they were stationed in Germany serving in the US Air Corp as a chaplain. My husband is full blooded German and there are times when he has wondereed what his life would have been if he had not been brought to the US.

        But that is a ‘what if’ question and we will never know. But Germany is looking pretty good compared to what the USA has been through and if we get a Far Right Relgioius Republican in the White House – that American Dream will be all but shattered.

      • Robert

        Wicked, I took basic training in texas. No way would I live in that snake, tarantulas, scorpion’s infested place. It seemed every rock you turned over there was one critter looking at you. For fun we use to put a scorpion and a tarantula in a helmet liner and watch them fight it out.
        I can’t remember if it was the people and their texas way or the heat and critters. Sorry, I’m an ASS,but I hate Texas.

      • Lackland?

        So did my ex. And I’m pretty sure you aren’t him because you can spell. 😉

        Seriously, there’s some pretty country in Texas. You just have to know where to find it. Kinda like Kansas. Think about all the people driving thru to Colorado. They miss the good stuff.

    • None of my blather means I wouldn’t leave if I could and knew where I’d go.

      • Robert

        Wicked, Maybe Austin.

      • Robert

        Wicked, No I’m not your ex. Calm down. Army-Fort Hood.

      • Of course you’re not, Robert. I could tell that right off. Radar, if nothing else. LOL

        Yes, Austin might work well. (Prairie Pond has good things to say about it.) I don’t know if I’ve ever been there, but I’d love to visit. For some very odd reason that I don’t know, I’ve always had a soft spot for Texas. Maybe something in a past life…

        But honestly, just the thought of packing and moving makes me bone tired.

  4. This is too funny not to share —

  5. indypendent

    Interesting reading about the family named Koch – Read the part where after GWB became president and then Attorney General John Ashcroft dropped 88 charges against Koch.

    Do you want to imagine the outrage from the Far Right Republicans if that had been President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder doing such a thing for their ‘friends’?

    All Hell would break loose….

  6. indypendent

    Wow – Michele Bachmann promises to give us $2/gal gas if she is elected president.

    I wonder – has this submissive wife already asked her husband if she can do this or is that her planned ‘out’ for not delivering on this particular promise.

    You know, being that submissive wife thing is not all it’s cracked up to be – is it?

  7. Earthquake Does Less Damage to Washington than Eric Cantor
    Majority Leader’s Devastation Felt Across Nation

    “The earthquake and Eric Cantor originate from almost the identical point,” said Dr. Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota’s Seismology Institute. “But while the earthquake caused some minor shaking, there’s only one word for Eric Cantor’s impact: devastation.”

    As residents of Washington picked through the rubble left behind by Rep. Cantor, some questioned whether it made sense to rebuild.

    “What’s the point? Congress will be back from recess in a few days and then he’ll just knock everything down again,” one resident said.

  8. indypendent

    Now, this is just downright funny and yet thought-provoking at the same time.

    I’ve often said God gave us the ability to laugh so we could cope with life on Earth.

  9. indypendent

    Did anyone else watch Rachel Maddow last night as to why she thinks Mitt Romney’s new campaign strategy must be going for the full Thurston?

    It’s hilarious.

  10. indypendent

    Looks like Sarah Palin has lost her rock star power in the GOP.

    But never fear, this is like cotton candy to the devoted Palinettes. This kind of poll rating make her all ‘mavericky’ again. You know, she is the one that can take on the good ol’ boys and beat them. You betcha! wink-wink

    At least it’s good for another million or two – until the next time the circus clowns come knockin….

  11. Asher Bob White

    Gee! This cite is about the PP&P post. And only one germane comment. Thanks, Wicked.

    • indypendent

      Maybe I am tired from trying to calm a teething baby between naps – but what are you referring to?

      • indypendent

        If it’s about the cartoon in the topic header – I’ve already stated my views about this Super Branch, Super Congress or Super Committee (whatever anybody wants to call it).

        This is nothing more than another partisan politics theatre that has been set up to fail.

        Need I say more??

    • Our Public Square is always an open thread.

      In fact, although we rarely have a post about a specific topic, we usually manage to make them all open threads. 😉

    • Sorry, Asher Bob White. The cartoon or graphic is merely a jumping place for us, then we jump all over whatever subject we stumble upon or want to discuss.

      Oh, and you’re welcome. I guess I’m just a bit discombobulated about the whole “Super Committee.”

      (Can I call you Asher? ‘cuz the Bob White I know better not be you or I’ll have to ask fnord to ban you.)

  12. Is it a requirement for being a governor from Texas that you sound really stupid?

    • Holy mother of rednecks, he sounds–and stutters–just like Dubya! I never noticed.

      I don’t think Ann Richards sounded stupid. Sweet and ladylike as she dished out insults, yes, but stupid? Nah.

      I wish I could remember what my TX friend said about comparing Perry to Bush. Something about he was dressed up nicer and was slicker, but it didn’t seem to make him any smarter.

      • Thank you, wicked! I needed that laugh!

        Let me tell you I’m trying very very hard not to complain about the care giver role since I can see how well the patient is doing, how hard he is working… I’m a wuss. 😦

      • fnord, I am a terrible caregiver. Sick or convalescing people test my patience. That could also be said as patients test my patience. I know why I’m this way. It’s not nice, so I won’t spill. But I will also add that I have even less patience when I’m the patient. 😉

        So glad your patient is doing so well! Give him a smack (your choice of the type) for me. 🙂 I’ll give you a hug at a later date.

      • Let’s get together sooner rather than later! Maybe we can get Indy to join us. 😉

      • Definitely sooner!

        I’m much freer these days, especially now that school has started. Yeehaw!

      • indypendent

        fnord and wicked – I would LOVE to meet you both in person. Maybe when the weather gets cooler, fnords gets her pink slip for being a caregiver and I can schedule a day off from the grandkids..

        Just let me know when and where and I’ll do my best to meet up with you both and anyone else that would like to come.

      • Indy drove to my side of town which is the other side from where she lives and brought Panera bagels when my Mom died. My grandson met her. I was at the funeral home. I think my timing sucked!

      • indypendent

        fnord – I remember that day also. Your grandson was so nice. I was disappointed, as well, that you were not there at the time.

  13. In his book, Rick Perry calls Social Security “a bad disease,” and Marco Rubio said in a speech at the Reagan Library that Social Security and Medicare “weakened us as a people.”

    • I really do think that these people who are so intent on getting rid of SS and Medicare should be willing to give up theirs, when that time comes.


      I could also hope that they don’t live long enough to collect, but that wouldn’t be nice of me.

      • indypendent

        Hey, let me be the ‘not nice one’ here and say that Nancy Reagan had alot of help when she took that fall at the Reagan Library when Marco Rubio was demonizing SS and Medicare.

        And while I’m being nasty – Alzheimers is a horrible disease to deal with and I know it is not easy for a wife to watch her husband suffer with Alzheimers

        But Nancy and Ronald Reagan had the best health taxpayer money can buy. And I’m sure Nancy had nursing care in the home.

        I’ve known alot of good honest hardworking Americans that spent their lives paying into the Medicare and SS system – but these people did not have the financial resources (or the good fortune to be a ex-president with golden benefits) to have all the help Nancy had with her husband.

        I’m sure some Conservative Republican reading this comment is going to call me a bunch of names – but you know what? The truth hurts – and when the nail getts hit directly on it’s head – it yells the loudest.

  14. Aha! Now I know where I saw the word ‘pilcrow.’ It’s at the bottom of the screen. I ran across the word today while reading something and was finally able to hook the word to something I have never remembered what it’s called. (Are we confused yet?)

    So, my dandy friends, just what is a pilcrow? If you know without looking it up, you’re a far, far better person than I.

    • indypendent

      My curiosity got the better of me and I had to look it up.

      But I won’t spoil it in case others want to try to be the better person. Because, God knows, I am not that smart today.

    • Really! What in the world was wrong with ‘paragraph sign’? A few decades ago one of my duties at the ad agency where I worked was proof reading — I know the para sign, but had no idea it was called a pilcrow!

      I learned at least two things today! The other was you shouldn’t go to a 1 pm physical therapy appointment when your last pain pill was taken at 7 am. It hurts more when you do that! Next therapy appointment you can bet a pain pill will be offered about one hour before. 😉

    • LOL I’m extremely familiar with the paragraph sign, too. I knew it had a name, but it really didn’t matter to me, as long as I recognized the backwards P. I’ve had to learn what others mean, thanks to being edited, but that was one I knew without an explanation. I’m not apt to forget the name now.

      Yes, fnord, pain pills prior to PT are a must. Definitely no question. 😉

      Live and learn. All of us.

  15. Ignored by the media and dismissed by the Republican Party in general, liberty-minded Congressman Ron Paul leaped into third place today in the Gallup Presidential Nomination preference poll. Paul jumped over Michele Bachmann, the Tea Party darling/lunatic, relegating her to fourth-place in the current poll. Here’s how the numbers shake out today.

    * Rick Perry, Texas Governor: 29%
    * Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts Governor: 17%
    * Ron Paul, Texas Congressman: 13%
    * Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Congresswoman: 10%

    One thing to take away from the poll is that it only includes current, declared candidates. It does not, for example, include potential candidates Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, Rudolph Giuliani, or George Pataki – all of whom have made noise about possibly jumping into the race at a later date.

    One of them could possibly be very successful following a later-entrant strategy. As of today, a full 17% of respondents indicated “no preference” in their vote.

    Think about that for a minute. “None of the above” essentially takes second place right now, ahead of everyone but Rick Perry – and even Republicans aren’t crazy enough to nominate Rick Perry.

    Read more:

  16. Freebird1971

    A friend of mine posted this on is page but it pretty much sums up my attitude

    What is lacking in America? Say what you mean, mean what you say…follow thru…have some backbone, intergrity, honesty and guts. If you said you would do it…then do it by God. I have tried, in my old age, to find the ulitmate bullshit slicer…and I haven’t got the time for jive. If that seems like tunnel vision then
    kiss my ass. No apologies. I have heard the tunes and seen the dances and I am fed up crap. I am getting sick of liars and theives.

    • indypendent

      I agree up to a point. George W. Bush was often praised because he took a stand and never backed down. Bush could not even think of anything he did wrong when he was asked.

      Now, that might appear to be someone that he had a backbone – but I see it as being stubborn to a fault.

      When presented with facts and your stand is/was wrong – then I think an honest person should have the integrity to admit they were wrong.

    • indypendent

      Here is another example of a man who was applauded by Conservative Republicans for having taken many stands – of which he is still unapologetic.

      If we had listened to this Dick, the US would be in worse shape than we are today – IMHO

      So, back to my original comment, you can mean what you say but you need to have the integrity to know that what you say is really what is best.

  17. indypendent

    If these are the kind of jobs Republicans promised to create – then maybe we’re better off if they keep reneging on that particular promise?