The Watering Hole: Wednesday, 10-12-11

The Traveler and the Woman at the Well 

A Modern Parable by 

Briseadh na Faire

A woman sat hard by the well at the outskirts of town. High overhead, the sun beat down mercilessly with late August heat. A man wearing fine robes approached, accompanied by his entourage.

“Fetch me some water” the man commanded the woman, “and for my guests, as well.”

The woman lowered her eyes, “Yes, M’Lord” she murmured, then pulled at the rope with her calloused hands. She raised the heavy bucket by herself, while those whose hands knew no labor stood ’round and watched, belittling her for her slowness at raising the bucket, her tattered clothes and unkempt hair. One flicked her on the rump with his crop. Another lifted her skirt with his boot, while she strained on in her labours, and bore their insults in silence.

When she was done, the rich man tossed her a penny. “For your efforts,” he said, laughing. His entourage laughed, too. The practiced laughs of those who know their place and keep their heads. As the group headed into town, the woman picked up the penny, dusted it off, and sat, crying the dry tears of one who has cried too much.

A Traveler, dressed in a dusty green cloak and wearing sandals so covered with dirt that they were indistinguishable from his feet, walked towards the well. “Fetch me some water” the Traveler commanded.

The woman looked up and took in the Traveler in a long glance, from his uncombed walnut hair to his dusty cloak, tan breeches and caked sandals. “Fetch it yourself,” she said. “My hands are weary.”

“You didn’t say that to the other gentleman,” the Traveler observed, drawing up the rope.

“How could I?” asked the woman. “He’s rich. He owns everything in this town. Everything we have, we owe to him.”

“And how did he get to be rich?” the Traveler asked.

“He built the mill” the woman replied, looking over to a run-down ruin of a factory. “For awhile, everything was great. Our husbands worked, we raised families. We had good lives. Then the King made peace with a neighboring kingdom. And part of that peace allowed our Master to build a mill in the other kingdom, where the people were so poor that they would work for practically nothing.”

“And, so, your mill was closed” the Traveler concluded.

“Aye, it was closed, and the only jobs we could get was serving our Master for practically nothing.” An eagle cried plaintively overhead. The Traveler lifted the bucked out of the well and poured the clear spring water into his cup. He handed the cup to the woman, who looked up at him with surprise. He nodded, and she took the cup and drank. As she handed the cup back to the Traveler, she asked, “Why do you show me such kindness?”

The Traveler poured himself a cup of water, drank, and sat next to the woman. “The question is, why don’t you show yourself such kindness?”

“What do you mean?” her green eyes were looking for the answer to a riddle that escaped her.

“You have the right to say no” the Traveler replied, “as you did to me. You can say no to your Master.”

“But he would be angry. He would beat me. He might even have me thrown in prison for daring to disobey him.”

“That is true” the Traveler nodded. “But what if everyone in the village said no?”

“How would that change things?”

The Traveler stood up and walked to the edge of the nearby woods to gather some sticks. The eagle that had been circling overhead swooped down low over the well, and up, to settle in a nearby tree. It ruffled its wing feathers as it adjusted its perch on a high branch.

“Take this stick” the Traveler said, giving her a twig. “Now break it.”

The woman snapped the twig easily in two.

“Now take these.” The Traveler handed a bunch of twigs, so much she could barely get her hands around all of them. “Break them.”

She tried. The twigs creaked a little. She tried harder, but could barely bend the bundle. “I cannot.” She handed the twigs back to the Traveler. “They’re too many.”

“Exactly!” said the Traveler, a flash of lightening in his blue eyes. “One, by itself, is easily broken.” He snapped a twig to punctuate his remark. “But take that same twig and bind it together with its brothers and sisters and the strongest hands cannot bend them.”

The eagle lifted from its perch, its call piercing the air, adding power to the Traveler’s revelation. The Traveler set the bundle of twigs on the rock wall of the well. The woman picked them up, one by one.

“One by one he’s been breaking us” the woman was speaking to no one, just picking up twigs and snapping them as she spoke. “One by one we’ve been driven to poverty, while he gets richer and richer.” She snapped another twig. “One by one, we’ve been getting sick, dying, starving.” Another twig broke in her hands. “But together” she grabbed the rest of the bundle “together….” she looked up at the Traveler, the midday sun behind his head…”together….we are stronger than he is…”

The Traveler smiled, a knowing smile. The woman smiled back. High above, the eagle called out once more. The woman looked up for the eagle, and, for a moment, it was as if the Traveler had stepped to one side, for she was momentarily blinded by the sun. She looked back down but the Traveler was gone.

Holding the bundle of sticks firmly in her hand, the woman walked back to town, her head tall.

© 2011 Briseadh na Faire

This is our Open Thread. I’ve said my piece, now it’s your turn.

170 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: Wednesday, 10-12-11

  1. Today is Occupy the little town where my business is located. The college students will be leaving campus and then gathering in front of Wells Fargo Bank. My business is just down the street from the bank. Since I have clients this afternoon, I will only be able to join the group for a short while.

  2. Good morning folks, and a great story BnF.

    Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
    Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
    For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
    Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
    And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

    We are the 99%.

  3. Excellent parable! Now you know why so many in the MSM and on the right are trying to discredit the OWS. The ruling class elites are getting nervous. The natives are getting restless.

    So of course all of the minions of the ruling class are out doing the dirty work for their masters. From blogs, the media, those who were thought to be with us are suddenly showing their true colors by voicing opposition to OWS.

    I hope and pray that this movement grows bigger and bigger everyday. It is the right movement. It’s time for the middle/working class peasants to stand together to fight against greed, social injustice, income inequality, health care, jobs, stagnant wages for those who have jobs.

    Of course we are still going to have the completely brainwashed idiots on the right label these true American patriots “dirty hippies”, “unemployed”, “living with their parents”, “leeches”, “socialists”, “anti-American”, “anti-capitalists” and on and on and on.

    Divide & Conquer……

  4. Following Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate, Texas Governor Rick Perry stumbled in making remarks on the Revolutionary War, Carrie Dann at NBC News reports.

    The GOP contender suggested that one of the “reasons we fought the revolution in the 16th century was to get away from that kind of onerous crown” in response to a question on the issue of states’ rights. NBC News points out that the conflict was waged in the 18th century.

    ABC News reports that Perry’s remarks came during a post-debate stop at a fraternity on the Dartmouth College campus, where the presidential forum was held.

  5. A cautionary song, seems more appropriate now than ever, given the extreme climate of hate fostered by the religious right…

  6. Who was that economic advisor to Herman Cain that he touted last night? That helped him develop his “999” plan?

    Herman Cain says his much-touted 9-9-9 plan is the product of extensive testing and thinking, but the only man he cited as involved with its research — Rich Lowrie of Cleveland — is not a trained economist.

    Instead, Lowrie — who’s the only economic adviser Cain has been willing to mention by name — is a wealth manager for a division of Wells Fargo and according to his LinkedIn page holds an accountancy degree from Case Western Reserve University. Lowrie also spent three years on the advisory board of the conservative third-party group Americans For Prosperity.

  7. There were high school students, college students and old hippies at the Occupy the town where my business is located. The total number of participants was about 40 and we stood outside, in the rain, in front of the Wells Fargo Bank which called the local police. We told we could stay there as long as we didn’t block the pedestrians from sidewalk. People beeped their horns especially the truck drivers. The local news and newspapers interviewed the college student that organized the event.

  8. Wonderful parable BnF. Great writing. Great lesson.

    This just popped into my head:

    I decided long ago
    Never to walk in anyone’s shadow
    If I fail, if I succeed
    At least I’ll live as I believe
    No matter what they take from me
    They can’t take away my dignity

  9. I might add that young, green, sticks are harder to break than old, dry, ones. That’s why it’s so gratifying to see so many young people protesting. They need our wisdom and experience but we need their vigor and resilience.

    • One of the first comments on the YouTube video:

      Erm, as a person from the United Kingdom, this video completely baffles me. Is this a joke? Is someone really slagging off this woman for daring to say that public services are paid for by the public, and everyone uses them? That’s how society works!

      I mean, is this something a real politician is trying to use to attack someone else and get themselves elected? Who is this for? How can you run a campaign based on a platform that is against public services? Is this an Onion video? It’s absurd.

      Exactly!! Backfire! 😆

    • That is amazing, Zooey. They just completely distort what she’s saying and claiming that she is literally talking to “You”.

      In the meantime, I hope she learns to be careful about how she phrases things. She has to remember that when she speaks at campaign events, she’s not talking just to the people within earshot, she is talking to everybody in the country, including her opponents who will have absolutely, positively no shame about misrepresenting the literal words she uses. The next time she tells that story (which is a good one), she should say, “A person opens a factory…that person is moving goods on roads WE paid for…that person is hiring workers that WE paid to educate…that person’s factory is protected by police and fire departments that WE paid for…that person owes the next person who comes along.” Just re-phrase the story in a way that can’t be so easily distorted as it was in this video.

    • Why is it that everything the Obama administration says is a filthy lie, until the wingnuts find some lame, FBI supported, “plot” by an Iranian loser to kill people — that’s when they have no reason to doubt the story, cuz they have such hard-ons to bomb Iran!

    • FBI’s record-setting undefeated streak of heroically saving us from the plots they enable.

      That is a truthful mouthful!

    • This didn’t sound right when I heard it yesterday.
      Color me super cynical, but I never thought the “Arab Spring” was all so spontaneous. I still believe we had our “finger” in getting those demonstrations and revolts going that toppled all those Arab dictators. I think we supported the protestors every step of the way. I think we haven’t been able to get a “finger” in the door in Iran, and so what’s the next step? Set them up in some aggressive, [stupid] terrorist plot and green light going after them. I wonder why we spend so much energy demonizing Iran and making them the biggest enemy on the planet. Is it just because of Israel? What do they have that we want (other than supporting Israel and Israel wanting to bomb them). Greenwald is correct. This story is stupid on its face.

      And while I am saying that, I will point out again the hypocrisy now of the things being said about the 99% out protesting the corruption and greed in Wall Street that brought this economy down with no consequences. Look at the things being said, and the police actions against the peaceful protestors. Hypocrisy. Plain and simple.

      • Can someone remind me again WHY Iran is supposed to be so incredibly evil and hated? (Other than the Israel factor?)
        Is it just because of the ME crisis? Is it because they don’t open the doors to the big multinationals so they can get a piece of the action? Is it because they are self-sufficient/self-reliant and we can’t control them through anything we attempt? Is it just because they run their country counter to the way we think they should run it? Have they invaded somewhere? Have they bombed someone? What is it?
        And I’m NOT un-American for simply asking a question. I really want to know. I am tired of getting my “you’re supposed to believe everything we tell you” information for the corporate MSM. And after a while it starts to feel like “1984” and the two-minute “hate”. People there saw the screen with someone’s face on it who was supposed to be the hated enemy, they would all together scream hate at it for two minutes and work themselves into a lather without even knowing or remembering why they were supposed to hate the guy..

        • I suspect the cons have just never forgiven them for that hostage thing 30+ years ago. Other than that, I’m not sure why we’re supposed to fear them. I’m way more worried about Pakistan’s real nukes than Iran’s theoretical ones.

        • Iran is evil because they said “No”. They said: take your Shah and your SAVAK and your police thugs and your oil companies and arms dealers and get stuffed to America.

          Now Iran is a problem player in sponsoring and supporting some nasty stuff over th last 30 years, mostly aimed at Israel and/or Saudi Arabia, but then as Greenwald says: why is Iran’s alleged program of chasing ‘bad guys’ in other people’s countries any different from Uncles Sam’s?

        • Be sure of one thing, one absolute truth: it has something (probably everything) to do with money and power, in each and every way applicable to the situation as it currently stands. That’s really all that America stands for anymore: her efforts to forever remain alone atop that heap. Nothing else matters. Nothing.

      • Muse , have to disagree with your thesis that the Arab Spring had a US hand in it. I think it was absolutely the opposite. It was spontaneous, and it came from just the ordinary person who just couldn’t take any more. That the US backed Mubarak almost until he gave in was the sign. The US values stability over democracy – democracy is messy, people camp out in the streets, make smart signs and ask for stuff instead of getting back behind the counters to ask if you want fries with that.

        Were the OWS protests then orchestrated?

        • No, I don’t think the OWS was orchestrated – which is demonstrated by their incoherence out the gate. They are growing now and getting a more defined, coherent message. I love that. I love the general assemblies. It is how a democracy should operate. Talking, listening, and building a real consensus. I support that 100% and we plan on heading up to Portland to join in.
          I appreciate what you said about the “Arab Spring”, but some things still felt too coordinated. That said, I supported their fight to topple those dictators and establish their own governments giving them a say. I hope I didn’t give the impression that I didn’t support what they were fighting for. I just can’t help feeling they were helped along.

          • Yes OWS versus Arab Spring is not a fair comparison – but I still think the US was completely uninvolved in Egypt, Tunisia and LIbya. Like it or not, the US had a stake in the status quo in all three countries staying the same. Israel and oil, simple as that. Remember even Jimmy Carter backed the disgusting Shah’s regime.

            Other people’s freedoms and aspirations don’t count for jack when ‘national interests’ are threatened. And that in a nutshell is the history of the US since 1945, its a history of an empire.

            And it’s being seen on the streets of NY and elsewhere right now.

    • I haven’t got over the fact that they already had the law on the books against having a firearm in your possession while intoxicated, when they legalized carrying firearms into bars. Once you’re in the bar and packing, I guess you’re just supposed to drink an O’Douls and eat some crisps.

    • Nevermind the content (which is ridiculous), I have never seen a more poorly written letter, outside of letters written to Santa by first graders.

      Good thing I bought butter yesterday…

      • This particular politician is also known for stating that homosexuals dressed as pirates spirit young men away for their illicit pleasures. He’s awful. The scary part is that the place that elected him is home to a lot of well educated IT folks, people who run our national security infrastructure, and is one of the wealthiest counties in the country. Even the R’s in Loudoun should know better than to elect this goof.

        • The scary part is that the place that elected him is home to a lot of well educated IT folks, people who run our national security infrastructure,

          That’s damn frightening!

    • Writer, to use the term loosely, says:

      I will not list the incidents around the country where violent protests led by unions in state after state have shocked Wisconsin, Minnesota, and now Washington State.

      Instead allow me to note: since I last wrote you– over the weekend– Seven hundred protesters on Wall STreet have been arrested trying to close down America’s free market, “stop the rich bankers”, as they demand Barrack Obama’s re-election.

      I think i see the problem. This person is living in a very, very, scary fantasy world.

  10. The best way to save our planet might be to learn from the animals that have lived here harmoniously with it for millions of years…

    We take a closer look at the amazing things animals do and what we can learn from them.

    • oh, and the asshole procreated (has an 8 yr. old son) ~
      not to worry, he has no common sense but at the last moment had ‘compassion’ for the dog:

      “I’m glad he picked her up,” Mr. Dubin said. “I was worried that Emmi might be destroyed in a shelter somewhere if no one claimed her. That’s not what I wanted.”

      Hold tight, whichever, credit card company – don’t give the effer a ‘credit back’. He’s obviously wealthy – purchasing a dog, sight unseen for $7,500.00 and having the money to send it on a commercial flight 3,000 miles.

    • She’s an absolutely gorgeous dog – poor thing being played like a damn ping-pong ball. Shame just effing shame on that Dubin idiot.

      • Beautiful. The irresponsible buyer should have met and interacted with the dog first. The irresponsible seller should have insisted on it and required the new owner to train with the dog. I feel like the dog is the only sane being in this transaction.

    • No shit. Here’s an idea. The guy should take his kid to a dog shelter and meet a few. See which ones respond well to you and the kid. Chances are a good dog will find them.

      • Some people (assholes) are stupid enough to buy an expensive guard dog sight-unseen, because they can I guess, and then treat it like the family pet.

  11. That is a great parable, BnF. Very well-written. The next time I go on the Twitter, I’ll tweet a link to it addressed to the Occupy Wall Street (#OWS) movement. Thank you for writing it.

    • That is excellent, muse.

      The problem with the Dec of Independence-like list Keith read on the air a few nights ago, was that it was too long and had too many things in it that Wall Street has nothing to do with (like animal rights). While all of those things need attention, these protests need to become focused, so that the people will understand what the goals are.

    • I want to wake up one morning to the news:
      “GOP called back to the Mothership. Take off imminent”

  12. Police arrest Occupy San Francisco protesters at Wells Fargo headquarters

    One Wells Fargo employee on her way to work said she supported the protesters, because

    “they have the right to protest and because people are greedy.”
    “If I didn’t have to go to work, I would be out there,” said the employee, who did not want to be named.
    She said it was terrible that a Wells Fargo corporate executive can make millions while so many workers are being laid off or are unemployed.

    • But the outage has caused at least one of those staffers to remain desk-bound for the day.

      We’ve definitely gone beyond when the ‘negative’ talk refers to being ‘tied to the desk’.

  13. If you saw Lawrence O’Donnell’s interview with Herman Cain on The Last Word, you may have some strong feelings about it. I was a bit confused by O’Donnell’s seemingly “gotcha” questions and the the odd tone of the whole affair.

    Today I read this letter online which gives me some new perspective, which is always a good thing. The entire letter is worth reading if you saw the interview:

    “I have to admit being horrified at how horrified people are at Lawrence’s interview with Herman Cain. He treated Mr. Cain far more politely than I or virtually any other African-American I know would have given the circumstances. And the circumstances are these. My father attended the University of Texas roughly during the same time period. UT was desegregated at the time, but he has no fond memories of the school, even though any troubles he experienced there were minor in comparison to others. He would eventually go on to Rice University (where he teaches today) for his PhD as the first Black man ever to attend that institution. His admission was delayed a year because White Alumni sued Rice to prevent his entry. He also had to deal with a Professor in Applied Math who publicly vowed that any Black student who enrolled in his class would start at a “C” and head downward.

    Still, as angry as he remains to this day over what relatively little happened to him during his stays at both Texas schools, he still found time to test restaurants, because he knew it was his about him and his future children.

    He was doing it for me. He also met another student at the time who was also testing restaurants while attending Texas Southern University. Her name was Claudette Smith. I know her today as Mom.

    You may argue that Herman Cain had a right not to participate in the Civil Rights Movement, and that may be true. But here’s the problem: he’s holding himself up as an example of, if not the very pinnacle of, the black community. (Just ask him, he’ll be glad to tell you). He has gone so far as to suggest that Black People who do not support him (not give him a fair hearing, mind you, but out-and-out support him) have been brainwashed by the Democratic Party.

    May I suggest that my Father and Mother were not brainwashed? May I suggest that they saw with their own eyes who was supporting Civil Rights and who wasn’t; and their allegiance forevermore was aligned with the Democratic party.

    And for the record, yes, there were Southern Democrats who voted against the 1965 Civil Rights Act. They long ago switched parties and joined Herman Cain’s party, the Republicans. I’m sure even Mr. Cain remembers Lyndon Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act, and saying he was delivering the South to the Republicans for the next 40 years. He was wrong. Try 60-70.

    The horrific part of the interview which apparently did not catch your eye, was Lawrence’s first asking Mr. Cain if he wanted to back off that “brainwashing” statement. Mr. Cain did not. With him questioning my intelligence as a African-American, I had a right to know where he stood in relation to the community he was questioning I had a right to know what kind of African-American he was, and yes that is something I can judge given the questions Lawrence O’Donnell asked rather haltingly. I had a right to know what he had given to the cause. Because if he had stood with my parents, if he had marched with my parents, then African-Americans as a whole would have shrugged when he called us “brainwashed”. At least, we would have decided, he earned the right.

    But he didn’t. He didn’t march. He didn’t sit-in. He didn’t test. He didn’t want to get involved, because frankly, it was probably more important to him to ingratiate himself to his white oppressors. I’m sorry to come off sounding like a member of the Black Panther Party, but we see people like Mr. Cain all the time in the African-American community. The ones who think they’re better than the rest of us, smarter, and the only ones fit to lead, the only ones fit to be heard from.”

    • If I remember my gang etiquette correctly, claiming to be a 1% and not really being one can result in a nasty beating.

  14. Cain’s 9-9-9 “Economist”:

    “That Cain doesn’t have a lot of specifics to back up the slogans shouldn’t be all that surprising. While he loves to mention the plan during his media appearances, he is far less willing to share any of the details behind the plan, such as the backup for his assertion that the plan is revenue neutral, or the even who has helped him come up with the plan. That’s not surprising, though, once you realize that the plan’s chief architect, Rich Lowrie, isn’t an economist at all and is in fact a Wells Fargo Branch employee working outside of Cleveland, Ohio whose highest educational degree is a apparently a B.S. in Accounting from Case Western Reserve University.”

    http://tinyurl.com/3rk3h3e

  15. WTF? The mayor of Boston, of all places, “will not tolerate civil disobedience”? Someone needs a history lesson and a strong electoral challenger who will remind the good mayor and the voters that, arguably, Boston’s biggest claim to fame is the civil disobedience of that city’s people under British rule. If said mayor has the gall to show his face at any events commemorating that civil disobedience? I hope they throw rotten fruit and/or used tea bags at him.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/theyoungturks?blend=1&ob=0#p/u/2/uADWx4bczuQ

  16. Peter King is on CNN talking to Wolf Blitzer on how this charge against Iran where someone could have been killed is in his mind an act of war. They are going to ramp up the rhetoric now.. They’ve been waiting for a chance to go after Iran and I think they think their opportunity has arrived. These guys have been wanting to go after Iran for years. They can just taste it..
    I still can’t help thinking this is manufactured and a setup. It stinks.

    • Ask Petey Boy why we didn’t declare war on Chile in 1976 when their security forces assassinated Orlando Letelier in Washington, DC. Not plotted, mind you, but successfully assassinated him.

      • Interesting. I remember reading about that in “Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein. Letelier was the Chilean Ambassador to the U.S. before he went to work for the Institute for Policy Studies (a Progressive think tank) in Washington DC. Killed in the U.S. Looks like we knew and let it happen.

        I just looked this up on Wikipedia. This section was especially interesting:

        According to John Dinges, co-author of Assassination on Embassy Row, documents released in 1999 and 2000 establish that “the CIA had inside intelligence about the assassination alliance at least two months before Letelier was killed but failed to act to stop the plans.” It also knew about an Uruguayan attempt to kill U.S. Congressman Edward Koch, which then-CIA director George H.W. Bush warned him about only after Orlando Letelier’s murder.

        Kenneth Maxwell points out that U.S. policymakers were aware not only of Operation Condor in general, but in particular “that a Chilean assassination team had been planning to enter the United States.” A month before the Letelier assassination, Kissinger ordered “that the Latin American rulers involved be informed that the ‘assassination of subversives, politicians and prominent figures both within the national borders of certain Southern Cone countries and abroad … would create a most serious moral and political problem.” Maxwell wrote in his review of Peter Kornbluh’s book, “This demarche was apparently not delivered: the U.S. embassy in Santiago demurred on the ground that to deliver such a strong rebuke would upset the dictator”, and that, on September 20, 1976, the day before Letelier and Moffitt were killed, the State Department instructed the ambassadors to take no further action with regard to the Condor scheme.

        On April 10, 2010, the Associated Press reported that a document discovered by the National Security Archive indicated that the State Department communique that was supposed to have gone out to the Chilean government warning against the assassinations had been blocked by then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
        At least, influential US politicians welcomed the murder of Letelier for ideological or strategic reasons. In July 1980, presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, in a conversation with the journalist Brian Crozier, expressed the view, that “it was a good thing Letelier had been bumped off”. Reagan’s running mate George H. W. Bush was the director of CIA at the time Letelier was assassinated.

      • I have often wondered why Bill0’s victims don’t bring up the Christian terrorists of Ireland when he’s bloviating about “jihadists” and “evil atheists”. During Richard Dawkins’ recent appearance while Bill0 was trying to claim that religion is a constraint on bad behavior, for instance, I would have loved it if he had asked Bill0 “didn’t the IRA deploy car bombs under orders from their priests?” On the other hand, I suppose that such a question would just be edited out of the final tape.

        • I don’t recall that priests played a significant role in directing/encouraging the violence. However a conflcit which has its root cause in religious difference and the social injustice that sectarianism fostered – he could have brought that up.

          I think he could have made a powerful point that the word for Jihad in Arabic translates best into Crusade in English….

  17. Haven’t followed or cared about the NBA labour situation but came across this article by Malcolm Gladwell that explains the truth behind the lie that the Nets lost millions over the last few years. Very enlightening. Malcolm is always a good read.

  18. Btw, as mentioned in last night’s debate, over the next three days, Perry has promised to explain how, if elected, he would quickly 1) put 1.2 million Americans to work; 2) achieve energy independence!

    I’m getting goosebumps in an-tic-i-PA-tion.

    • Won’t they have to coax him out from under the bed where he currently cowers (after the clown-fest)?

    • Maybe put 600k people to work making bean burritos and another 600k to follow customers around with specially adapted Ziploc bags?

    • The cry is going out far and wide to just make prison inmates work for free. Among the things that I didn’t expect in 2011 was people making a real effort to re-institute slavery.

  19. Michael Oren who is Israel’s Ambassador (also author and historian) was just on CNN talking about this swap of 1,000 prisoners for one Israeli soldier taking place. I’m glad they are getting their soldier back alive. I’m glad they are releasing 1,000 Palestinians. But his remarks to Blitzer in the question asked about why so lopsided is in Oren’s words “because we value life”.
    What?? Are you kidding me?
    I would love it if just ONCE they put up the REAL numbers of how many people on both sides of this conflict have been killed, how many captured and imprisoned, how many people killed that were civilians (though I do realize that Israel considers ALL Palestinians to be “terrorists” or “terrorist sympathizers”). Lopsided? Yeah. Maybe.

    • Speaking of valuing life, I accidentally followed a link to a Breitbart site, to an article claiming Occupy LA was planning violence. You would not believe the number of commenters boasting of their armament and their desire to kill some of the protesters.

      • Actually, I would believe it.

        If anyone starts shooting at these protests, it won’t be the Occupy people doing the shooting. Additionally, I would bet every single one of those yahoo braggarts are in the 99% and going through the same things the rest of are going through. Herman Cain won’t be calling THEM brainwashed.

  20. We are the 99%. Really?

    Josh Barro explains:

    “The 99th percentile of Americans, by income, starts with households earning incomes of $593,000. The “We Are the 99 percent” branding puts somebody making $500,000 per year on the oppressed-and-downtrodden side of the wage divide. Indeed, “99 percent” is so expansive a designation that it includes most of the bankers working on Wall Street.”

    I understand this whole ‘We Are the 99%’ thing, but it still doesn’t sit well with me. Most of us really aren’t up there in the 90’s or even the 70’s or 80’s. Indeed, the top 25% of American households have 87% of all the wealth in this country. So maybe ‘We are the 75%’ is more appropriate. But if this is really going to be about regular Americans, working class people, and not just a bunch of dissatisfied young people with too much time on their hands, it’s going to have to be more like ‘We Are the 25%.’

  21. Quote of the Day:

    “Congressional Republicans are so obsessed with discrediting the president that they are condemning the entire solar industry and making themselves into villains. At a time when unemployment is stubbornly above 9 percent and Congress cannot pass a jobs bill that will get people back to work, the GOP is attacking an industry that employs more than 100,000 Americans. That number has doubled since 2009. And most green energy companies qualify as small businesses. And with many industries still struggling to recover from the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. solar energy industry grew 69 percent in 2010. Compare that to overall GDP growth, which was just 3 percent last year. … President Obama has low approval ratings these days, but the Solyndra story is an illustration of why approval ratings for congressional Republicans are much lower,” – Juan Williams, Fox News.

    • Juan! Juan? He’ll be looking for a new position very soon.
      Fux doesn’t tolerate the truth.

      • His job, like Colmes’, is secure. FAUX”News” needs about 3 minutes of truth a day so that they can spend the other 23:57 calling the truth a “lie”. Plus they derive great joy from punching a target who won’t really defend himself in a substantive way.

  22. I missed your earlier comment, TerrytheTurtle, so I’m replying here.

    The reason why I would suggest asking Bill0 “didn’t the IRA perfect car bombs on the order of priests” is because it’s exactly the kind of hyperbolic crap that Bill0 throws out there. I think the best way to deal with blathering buffoons is to feed them their own crap. You, I, or any reasonable person would say that the priests weren’t the driving force and move on but that’s not in Bill0’s character. He would either pitch a fit and kick Dawkins off the set or be forced to contradict his claim that religion is a damper by saying “the church had nothing to do with it”. Either way, Bill0 loses. Merely saying the word “Ireland” completely shatters any assertion that “there’s no such thing as a Christian terrorist” which can be heard on FAUX”News” with some regularity.

    Well? If the church had nothing to do with it then his assertion falls flat. The real point is that the priests, and their Protestant counterparts, couldn’t stop it and, in fact, many of them made things worse over the centuries that Catholic and Protestant Irish were butchering each other.

    • BTW. Dad had a favorite quote but I don’t know the original source:

      “Clergy are often able to stop violence within their sect but their results in halting violence against other sects isn’t very good.”

    • Ah – although the IRA were driven mainly by secular socialism, even Trotskyite philosophy (the INLA in that case – a splinter group of the IRA).

      I see where you were going with this… always fun to see Billo’s head explode.

  23. Keith just called Brad Drake, State Rep from Florida an asshole in worst persons!

    • I’ve spent my life hiking, hunting, fishing, and generally spending time in the wilderness. One of the very few times I’ve been even the slightest bit worried was when I got turned around in a corn field searching for a lost model airplane. I didn’t panic and just followed a row until I hit the edge and ended up about two miles from where I expected I would arrive. And I didn’t have kids or a panicky woman to cloud my judgement!

      • This is my favorite exchange:

        Dispatcher: “Just relax. Calm down. Your husband is with you right?”
        Woman: “Yes, but my baby?”

        In other words: “So? My husband is fucking useless!”

        Hilarious!

        • Mine was a rhetorical statement. To wit:

          Bob: My girlfriend just dumped me for a man-whore
          Jack: Ha sucker! I told you this would happen!
          Bob: You douche it was a fucking rhetorical statement!
          🙂

        • If you truly want to see a “deer-in-headlights” expression, Just ask Sarah Palin if you can ask her a rhetorical question…
          👿

  24. Good grief – we’ve gone back to the sexist ’50s &’60s:

    ADVERTISING
    GM: Bikes will make you unattractive to ladies

    How did this ad meeting go? “We need to convince the youth to buy giant boat-cars.” “Okay, tell them bikes will cockblock them.” “Perfect, let’s call it a day.” Nice work, Don Draper.

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