The Blue Raccoon

Thursday, October 09, 2008

"The United States of America (1776-2000)"
"Free" market free fall and the concentration of power

"The US government's debts have ballooned so badly the National Debt Clock in New York has run out of digits to record the spiralling figure...The board was erected to highlight the $2.7 trillion level of debt in 1989. The clock's owners say two more zeros will be added, allowing the clock to record a quadrillion dollars of debt. Douglas Durst, son of the late Seymour Durst - the clock's inventor - hopes to replace the Manhattan clock with its lengthier replacement early next year. " --

Billion-eyed audience, I've been plagued by keyboard issues and general busy-ness, and this whole economic collapse business and election madness is proving more distressing than I thought. I've got a 401 (K) and, well, I dunno what's going to happen to us.

Anyway, I offer these few insights.

Falling numbers are exciting and you can show them on television but they aren't telling the whole story, and regarding the economy, we're not getting the goods of truth delivered via the usual media. This should appall those of us who live in a nominal representative republic. But there is so much going on every day in these times that would provoke outrage, that if all we did is get upset, we'd never get anything accomplished.

Which is why so many U.S. citizens get up every morning to support their family and regard whatever the government is doing or not doing with the same resignation as one considers the weather.

Becky, our favorite Girl In Short Shorts, offers up trenchant libertarian observations about this whole mess. Becky is nothing if not provocative, but she can also be quite prescient -- she was advocating McCain pick Sarah Palin as v.p. (at first, I think, as a kind of girl-crush joke) without, I think, knowing much more about her background than perhaps McCain himself. And while I cannot say I agree with her on everything, she's providing some actual sensible views that just aren't getting heard very much, here and here and here.

Max Keiser Explains It All For You

I'd not heard of Max Keiser until yesterday when a friend forwarded to me his assessment of the current crisis. You won't see him pop up probably even on Rachel Maddow -- my guess is trying to explain that he also serves as a world-economic affairs pundit for Al Jazeera would be too much to get him approved for major U.S. broadcast air. He's kind of like a leftist Cramer.

You can read about him here and here.

No matter. Thanks to Facebook and YouTube, here he is, and what he's saying is just, well. Listen.

Why Vote? It Just Encourages Them.

As if this isn't alarmist enough, take a look at what's going on in the precincts where early voting is allowed (a concept itself that seems open to corruption from the get-go, but what do I know), and the already documented efforts to block voting in regions of the country. (Image via Crooks and Liars.)

Below, an assessment from the Nevada blog Desert Beacon, which has aggregated some of the suppression efforts:

In Wisconsin the Republican Attorney General has filed a lawsuit to force the state election agency to “check voter registrations for accuracy dating back to January 1, 2006.” The registrations are supposed to match with “other state agencies,” like the Department of Transportation. [MadisonWI]

In North Carolina, last May the North Carolina NAACP filed a formal complaint against Women's Voices Women Vote for deceptive and illegal robo-calls made to state residents. [VTUSA]

In Michigan the Republicans have allegedly gotten creative and may have launched a “Lose Your House, Lose Your Vote” effort in which they challenge voters based on a listing of foreclosed properties. [TBB] The Democratic Party has filed suit to stop this. [TBB]

In California the Department of Veterans' Affairs is continuing to block non-partisan groups access to recovering vets so that they can register to vote, in spite of an agreement to follow Federal law; the non-partisan Veterans for Peace was forced to file an emergency motion to gain access. [TBB]

In Florida, the Republican Secretary of State announced that as of September 8, 2008 the state would begin enforcing “No Match No Vote” statutes. Project Vote, The Brennan Center, and the Advancement Project have all named Florida “the most hostile state in the nation to new voters.” [TBB]

And from Virginia's own Montgomery County, here; and more from Ohio, here.

So, while I'm trying to look forward to the James River Writers Conference and the Richmond Folk Festival this weekend, and keeping my head focused on the day-to-day, I'm probably not the only one who feels -- like our weather here -- clouded over by current events.

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