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bito On January - 17 - 2013

The place to post your comments without interrupting the single topic posts. However, be mindful of the strict rules!!

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Every so often I intrude TO/OT with a personal pick of a site that I find important that I feel needs to be shared and not lost in the shuffle of the constant flow of thoughts on The Planet.

And yet with globalization, we seem to have developed a strange apprehension about the efficacy of our ability to apply the innovation and hard work necessary to successfully compete in a complex security and economic environment. Further, we have misunderstood interdependence as a weakness rather than recognizing it as a strength. The key to sustaining our competitive edge, at home or on the world stage, is credibility — and credibility is a difficult capital to foster. It cannot be won through intimidation and threat, it cannot be sustained through protectionism or exclusion. Credibility requires engagement, strength, and reliability — imaginatively applied through the national tools of development, diplomacy, and defense.

The Y Article

A National Security Narrative



Written by bito

Was once a handsome frog until kissed by an ugly corporate princess.----- Like a well honed knife, the internet can be a wonderful and useful tool. It can be used to prepare and serve a delicious meal or it can be used to cause harm. peace

13,622 Responses so far.

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  1. agrippa says:

    Could someone provide a link to the Poynton blog?

    Thank you.

  2. confuseddemocrat says:

    I am sure many of you have seen this article: Return of the Welfare Queen (National Journal)


    This is a really disconcerting development. The GOP has really appealed and has calcified dislike and scapegoating of the poor into the American heart. What is really sad is that my family (who are African-American blue collar/ working poor/ lower middle class folks) often parrot much of these sentiments. I have even heard them say that if it weren’t for the overt racism and craziness of the Republicans, they would vote for them because the Republicans “have a point” when it comes to all these “freeloaders” (Yes…it was an interesting thanksgiving dinner). Now mind you, many of my family members rely/relied on the safety nets (Social security, public schooling and Medicare) and have at some point used Medicaid and or Food stamps.

    I find that if even though these harsh cruel “welfare queen” stereotypes are geared towards class warfare and towards scapegoating minorities, the message actually resonate with many of the victims of these stereotypes.

    I know income inequality is now the in vogue talking point, but if we have even the traditional members of the democratic block becoming somewhat indifferent to the poor, how can we mobilize to get people out to vote for candidates who will preserve the safety nets and tackle the roots of income disparities?

  3. kesmarn says:

    Just have to share these gorgeous voices — lifted in a “flash tribute” to Nelson Mandela:

  4. funksands says:

    Americans Left Out of Medicaid Fight Back Against GOP Guvs

    “Obamacare advocates are actively recruiting those left out of the Medicaid expansion in Republican-controlled states to lobby state officials to change their minds and participate in that key provision of the health care reform law.

    So far, the effort is most organized in Texas, which is also the state with the most people in that Medicaid expansion gap: 1 million. But it’s likely to pick up elsewhere as the Obama administration and outside advocates apply pressure to the 25 states that have resisted expansion for the first year….”


    (This is a fantastic idea and a movement to get behind)

    • kesmarn says:

      funk, I think this is even more important than that bill that Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed yesterday. You know. The one that made it legal to say the words “Merry Christmas” in public schools? 😉 😉 😉

      Hmmmmm… a million people without health care? “Merry Christmas” in schools? Decisions, decisions. Way to set those priorities, Ricky Perry!

      You can bet I will get behind this one.

      And a belated Happy Hanukkah, funk!

  5. Nirek says:

    Another shooting at a school in CO!
    I wonder how many more will take place before the politicians see the need to do something about guns?

  6. SmotPoker says:

    I have a subject that is near and dear to my heart. It concerns the young people of this generation. I’m talking about kids my daughters age 18-25.

    My daughter has a Macbook Pro, (against my strenuous objections) that she uses for college. I tried to explain to her the damage that Apple does both at home and abroad, but I fear it has fallen on deaf ears. Having grown up having her every desire fulfilled (MY FAULT, I know) she has no concept of what others that are less fortunate go through in life. She’s never had to live in a place like Detroit, or Inkster, MI where she would be a distinct minority. She hasn’t seen people living on the streets. She fails to see the damage that has been wrought in the age of ever increasing government intrusion, and corporate political power run amok.

    Luckily(?) I have seen those things. I’ve lived through them. I’ve felt hard times myself on a personal basis. So how do we get through to them that this is NOT the America those of us that came of age in the 70’s and 80’s grew up in? What’s it take?

    I spent over a decade in the semiconductor industry. I traveled all over the world to different fabs (manufacturing facilities). I’ve seen first hand the dormitory conditions in Asian nations such as Singapore, S. Korea, and Taiwan have in place for their workers. Most of their workers come from the rural areas of these nations with little education, and even less opportunity. I’ve seen the workers getting paid what amounts to slave wages, toiling away for 12 hr shifts, only to go home after their work to their dreary dorm with 3-5 roommates that they share nothing in common with, except the blight of being born poor.

    Today, we see that companies like Apple or GE that export both jobs, and money to avoid taxes, and fair wage laws in the US. How can we make our children see the evil in this practice? How can we get them onboard against such behavior? Far too many are striving to have what everyone else has, failing to see the damage done with their purchasing power.

    I’m not ranting against the young people of today, many of them are quite aware of the damage being done with their hard earned dollars, and do take stands against “the man”. In fact a lot of them are far ahead of where I was in having a social conscious at that age. Alas, far too many of them simply don’t care. I’ve got mine, so fuck it, no skin off my nose….

    That must change, it has to change. We are digging our own graves, and the only voices we hear are commands to dig faster. That has to change. I ask again, how can I relay the damage done, the plight of the exploited workers that have no options if they wish to eat, and have a place to live? How do you open eyes that refuse to see?

    I wish I had taken some pictures of the campuses I have seen, the worker bees all dressed the same shuffling to work with the masses. I wish I had taken the time to snap some photos of the dorms filled with grown adults living like college kids under the authoritative thumb of their employer, their rights restricted, curfews, and rules against fraternization.

    I remember one fab in particular that I found to be completely gross. Before entering the clean room one must put on a “bunny suit” that covers your body preventing you from contaminating the product. Part of those suits were booties/boots that you pulled from a bin. Now, that in itself isn’t so bad right? Guess again, the bin you pull the boots from are the discard bin that workers leaving the fab place their boots in. Imagine the skin crawling feeling as you put on a pair of warm, sweaty, boots that just came off another worker….Ewwwwww!

    How do we teach them to become ethical consumers rather than mindless consumers? I’d love to hear some thoughts on this matter. I know when I was that age, very little mattered to me outside of my own little monkeysphere, and it was to my, and societies detriment that we are paying the price for today. We must stop the cycle.

    • Nirek says:

      Smot, (I shortened your name for easy use) (selfish, huh?)

      My kids now in their high thirties were always conservation conscience as my wife and I have been. They took the initiative of forming a group at their high school to go into the river to pull tires and other debris out of the water and recycle it.

      Not everyone cares about other people or the environment at a young age. Some come around in college or even later in life. All you can do is give them love and facts. They will learn fro you even when you don’t think so.

  7. Nirek says:

    Anyone wonder why certain “buzz words” keep showing up in advertisements
    by the tea party? “Train wreck”, “prosperity”, and “failed” come to mind. When I hear those key words I think the speaker might well be a tea party lackey of the Koch brothers.

    Let me know if I’m wrong.

  8. SallyT says:


    Why don’t liberals have their own tea party?

    First, liberals and those to their left look to government to provide for the common good, and therefore have an interest in showing that the government can work well. Conservatives have their own projects for government, from mass incarceration to projecting power overseas, but when domestic government fails in the eyes of the public — be it through underfunded health exchanges or banking regulations — it serves the right politically. Such failures mean curbing the potential of the state to regulate the economy, removing long-term commitments to investing for the future, and neglecting to provide social insurance. So sabotage of governmental processes is useful in a way that it can’t be for liberals.

    Read the article for the second: Base and elites
    And the third: The long game


    • SmotPoker says:

      I think a lot of it has to do with the diversity inherent in the progressive community. So many voices, each with ideas competing to be heard as opposed to the conservatives who are hive minded, and are in lockstep against anything that pulls the nation forward rather than protecting the status quo.

      Try having a conversation with 3 different cannabis growers, each with a different process for their labor, each swearing that it is superior to the other fellows. It’s like trying to herd cats. It’s very much like in progressive community. We are cats, each seeking our own direction rather than banding together in lockstep.

      Is it a good thing? To be honest I don’t know. I celebrate diversity, and diverse thoughts, but there is something to be said for having some hive mentality allowing us all to work as one rather than as millions of different voices shouting from the wilderness. I truly do not know…

      • Nirek says:

        Smot, we need to band together to beat back the hordes. We all care about some progressive idea more than another but if we all vote the same way we will get the better candidate elected and advance all our ideas.

    • confuseddemocrat says:

      I thought OWS was suppose to be the liberal version of the Tea Party. I will say I have been disappointed by the OWS movement. I don’t understand why they didn’t mobilize on the local level to vote. I think that we need to start changing the politics by voting at the ground level. That means voting for dog catchers, treasurer, school boards, zoning boards, etc…and getting progressives elected. One of the things that I have observed is that progressives are really not very good at local grass-root politics. We tend to go for the national elections, but then ignore the low-hanging fruit of local elections.

      • AlphaBitch says:

        Excellent analysis, Confused. And I am here to testify to the dangers of leaving the local things untended. In TX, religious nut-jobs have done a handy job in forcing school books -- HISTORY ones, no less -- to delete Rosa Parks and add Newt Gingrich. And to teach creationism as a viable science. They are in the schools big time here, and as a result, we have a rapid and uninformed electorate. They take over things like the Land Commissioner and then make all sorts of harmful legislation that helps oil & gas (why George P. Bush is running for this position and not governor -- FOR NOW). It is often the stepping stone to governor -- and look at W. and Rick Perry.

        So local matters, folks. It doesn’t have the glamour or appeal, but it is absolutely a very vital part of a healthy democracy. Gerrymandering, anyone???

        Why can’t we just draw lines in rectangles only, not snaky wavy lines that only protect their districts.

        Don’t just vote. Run! -- AB

  9. VietVet67 says:

    Did everyone know that Santa and Jesus were both white? Megyn (Ha-ha) Kelly sez so:


    • kesmarn says:

      The irony is, VietVet, that as Kelly was babbling away, there was a crawl running across the bottom of the screen that announced that Lamar Alexander (R) had just put his chief of staff on unpaid leave because his home had been raided in the course of an investigation into child pornography.

      Now my question is: which story should FOX really have been using its alleged investigative powers on?

      I mentioned this and a friend made up the following meme, which I really appreciated:


    • SallyT says:

      The really sad thing here is that Megyn Kelly believes that there are young children that are still believing in Santa Claus and are watching her show. That she has to tell them that it is just a discussion and that not to worry because Santa Claus is real and white. All this on her show at 10:00 pm. Now the REALLY SCARY thing is if parents are letting their small children watch FOX News!!!!

    • Kudos VietVet67. I was just about to post a comment about this. Kelly is trying to deny minority children their own Santa. That’s just down right mean.

      “Just what minority children want to hear…”He’s making a list and checking it twice to see if you’ve been naughty or nice…..!”

      Santa works for the NSA!

    • AdLib says:

      She’s right, Jesus was as white and blue eyed as anyone else born in the Middle East. In fact, did you know Cleopatra was white and married to Richard Burton?

  10. AdLib says:

    BREAKING NEWS: The House of Representatives has just passed the first bipartisan budget in 15 years!

    It does lack unemployment insurance renewal which should hopefully be addressed but it may not so this isn’t all great. Otherwise, it’s better than another shutdown and having a 2 year agreement means not having Repubs force more budget crises every few months.

    • Fergie1 says:

      Ah yes Ad, but although this is not technically 2014 yet, it is closer to the mid-term elections. Watch the GOPers try to play nice and think people will forget what they have and haven’t done for the last five years. After all they are now giving their candidates “sensitivity” training on how to address women and our issues! Ha, sensitivity training? How about some intelligence training?

    • confuseddemocrat says:

      Tell me how this isn’t a win for the republicans? What did democrats really get?

    • I think Mr. Orange is starting to realize the damage done to his own party and the renegade TPers. The very ones that caused such damage in the first place. Too little too late, I think.

      • AdLib says:

        The Baggers are actually howling about how they want another shutdown and Boehner knows he will absolutely lose his Speakership if that happened. My daughter asked me today if Boehner was now a good guy and I explained that he’s just not insane like the Baggers but he’s still not a good guy.

    • Nirek says:

      It is a start, Ad. Maybe they will address unemployment after the first of the year. One can only hope.

  11. Nirek says:

    I’m anxious for the weekend music of KT fame this week. We have so many new friends who will likely enjoy it.

    KT , it is always fun on Saturday night to hear all the great music.

  12. SallyT says:


    Social Security expansion now very real. Thanks, Third Way!

    Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA.), honorary co-chair of Third Way and gubenatorial candidate, is now a cosponsor of a bill to expand Social Security.
    Schwartz was one of only 22 House Democrats to support the bill, known as the Cooper-LaTourette budget plan, which only received 38 votes overall. She touted her vote for the bill in an announcement on her House website that she had received the “Economic Patriot Award” from the Concord Coalition, a deficit-reduction group co-founded by Pete Peterson. Peterson is a billionaire who has spent nearly half a billion dollars advocating for cuts to Social Security and other government programs as part of a campaign for austerity.

    When Sen. Sherrod Brown signed on to the bill to expand Social Security, it made news. It gave the movement real momentum. When Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined the team it catapulted the issue into what could be a centerpiece in the 2014 and 2016.

    And that’s what put Third Way and the whole world of Wall Street “Democrats” into panic mode, coordinating a full-frontal assault against her and this issue. That assault has fallen completely flat. Nothing proves that more than Allyson Schwartz’s name on the Strengthening Social Security Act.


    • AdLib says:

      3rd Way is a fraudulent group. They are financed by and run by Wall Street but have disguised themselves as Democrat and Republican moderates. They want to kill Social Security and Medicare and all the programs that help the 99%.

      So, a loss for them is a win for us.

    • Nirek says:

      Sally, if Social Security had a higher income cap it would be able to improve benefits and always be financially fine.

      • SallyT says:

        Agree, Nirek. I hope we hold firm on the protection of Social Security. I don’t care if it is only a penny of loss, any changes will be an opening for more. Build on it not away from it. Until there are more unions and pensions, that are safe, Social Security is all we have for retirement and care if we are disabled. You can’t count on Wall Street’s gambling of your 401K. That is why most government pensions are in trouble. Not because the workers are earning too much but because their 401K’s were invested in the fraud of Wall Street in 2008.

  13. Beatlex says:

    RIP HP-Rest in Putridness :)

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