Disarm

Hello c99%. Welcome to the Tuesday open thread. Hope this finds you well. Just a general essay today to hit on a few hot button issues, while trying to find humour in the interpretations of said topics. Hope a little chuckle dribbles out of our seriousness. Not trying to make lite of the heavy mental loads that weigh down our otherwise sparkling conceptions. Since comedians give us the news in a much clearer format than the MSM pundits, perhaps laughter is a better perception than depression?

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A rhetorical question:

If con is the opposite of pro, then is Congress the opposite of progress?

It does make some sense in a funny way...

“Politics” is derived from the words “poly” meaning “many”, and “tics” meaning “blood-sucking parasites.”

Too many or uber poly ticks...

Looking into the origins of the word senate, I see it meant "council of elders" which came from the latin senex old men (see senile).

Do not steal – the government does not like competitors.

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Climate study: extreme weather may be caused by unlicensed witches casting wrong spells in well-meaning effort to destroy Trump

Hat tip to The People's Cube A very funny site.

Seriously, we need to disarm to stop conflict. Oh my, what's one revolutionary to do...maybe use the 50 state strategy Dean came up with? Yeah, the MIC has spread out all of their cash cows in almost every state in the union. See Bernie's F-35A, or two of my local defcon's (defence contractors): Raytheon and Textron (of illegal cluster bomb fame). My little state has 1669 defence contracts for 2016 valued at $331,635,146. So we protest that immoral waste of capital. Target the company offices, that will piss off TPTB. And if the neighbouring states do the same, we will start to see the mountain of warfare the DOD has built into it's web. 50 states, 50 protests, 50 focuses joined into one. Perhaps we can then raise awareness of how to dismantle and realign this hydra? Maybe. A soul's gotta have hope!

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Share your hopes, humour and whatevah!

Peace, over and thru.

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QMS's picture

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The revolution will not be televised. Proceed anyway.

QMS's picture

I found this senate bill S.2381 "The Puerto Rico Assistance Act of 2015"

The Authority possesses borrowing authority; though, consistent with the views of Congress and the Administration that there will be no “bailout,” the full faith and credit of the United States is not pledged for the payment of debt obligations issued by the Authority.

and

The resources provided are fully offset by rescinding unobligated funds from the Prevention and Public Health Fund of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and repurposing those funds to provide transition assistance and relief to the people of Puerto Rico, upon agreement of the Authority to utilize such funding.

This is only a portion of it. I know not if it was passed, but generally reads like austerity BS

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The revolution will not be televised. Proceed anyway.

@QMS

https://www.salon.com/2016/05/24/bernie_says_bail_out_puerto_rico_sander...

Bernie says bail out Puerto Rico: Sanders details how the feds should rescue the territory as they did big banks
Bernie Sanders rejects the current plan and says the Federal Reserve should instead issue new loans to Puerto Rico
David Dayen05.24.2016•4:59 AM

Recently introduced bipartisan legislation to deal with Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis would “make a terrible situation even worse,” according to Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is urging his Democratic colleagues in the Senate to reject it. The presidential candidate believes that instead, the Federal Reserve should act within their authority to alleviate the situation.

Sanders sees a double standard at the central bank in how they handle crises. “The Federal Reserve must be just as creative in finding solutions to help the 3.5 million American citizens in Puerto Rico as it was in rescuing the largest financial institutions in this country and throughout the world in 2008,” Sanders told Salon in a statement.

This is obviously not the first time that Sanders has separated himself from the political establishment. But it marks one of the first legislative battles since Sanders acquired newfound national stature from the presidential campaign. It also amplifies his critiques about the financial industry, and the lack of attention Washington pays to the struggles of ordinary people. ...

...Territories like Puerto Rico cannot use U.S. bankruptcy laws, and the island cannot seek help from the IMF or the World Bank as a sovereign country might. Puerto Rico’s creditors – mostly mutual funds and “vulture” hedge funds that scooped up debt at a massive discount (as low as 29 cents on the dollar) in search of a payday – have little incentive to make a deal because the laws work so completely in their favor.

After months of inaction, House negotiators released the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) after bipartisan talks. PROMESA would institute a seven-member fiscal oversight board, the majority of whom would be selected by Congressional leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. Puerto Ricans have no say in the board; members must have bond market and financial experience but cannot be a current or former elected official from the island. The oversight board would be able to institute more cuts, supersede local laws, lower the island’s minimum wage, and as a last resort institute a court-approved debt restructuring, as long as it is “in the best interest of creditors.” ...

...This is precisely what Sanders rejects. This artificial constraining of choices, he believes, leads to terrible outcomes. He outlined his alternative, which does not require approval from Congress, in a memo.

Sanders wants the Federal Reserve to issue new loans to Puerto Rico. The island would be contractually obligated to use the proceeds to hold “reverse Dutch Auctions” to force hedge funds and other creditors to sell their debt at a discount. As a result, the Fed would become the primary creditor for Puerto Rico, able to lengthen payment timelines and give the island space to recover economically.

In a reverse Dutch Auction, Puerto Rico would offer to buy back debt from creditors at a low price, incrementally increasing it until finding sellers. This would make the creditors compete with each other to ensure their debt gets sold. Holdouts who refuse to participate in the reverse Dutch Auction, Sanders says, would be at risk of greater discounts on their debt later, though he does not specify how.

Federal Reserve experts have repeatedly argued lending to Puerto Rico is impossible, but Sanders cites two parts of the Federal Reserve Act that would grant the authority. First, under Section 13(3), the Fed could cite “unusual and exigent circumstances” and lend to individuals, partnerships, or corporations that cannot otherwise secure credit. Puerto Rico has several public corporations, which issued about one-third of their overall debt.

13(3) lending has become a bigger challenge now because of changes to the rules under Dodd-Frank. First, the Treasury Secretary must approve any emergency lending. Second, no insolvent firm can receive money, with insolvency broadly defined to include borrowers that failed to pay debts in the past 90 days. This makes the Government Development Bank, which defaulted on $422 million in principal payments on May 1, currently ineligible.
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Third, lending is limited to programs with “broad-based eligibility.” It cannot be designed to aid specific corporations, and must allow “at least five entities” to be able to participate. You could maybe get around that by opening the program up to all U.S. territories. Finally, the Fed must institute a penalty rate of interest on these loans, “designed to encourage borrowers to repay emergency credit as quickly as possible.” It’s unclear how that would help Puerto Rico.

Sanders’ other option appears more promising. Section 14(2) allows the Fed to purchase “bonds and notes of the United States” with a maturity date of six months. Though Puerto Rico is not a state, it is considered part of the Second Federal Reserve District based in New York. According to a paper by Arturo Estrella, an economics professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, most Federal Reserve regulations treat Puerto Rico like a state, meaning the Fed could purchase the island’s debt short-term. After the six-month maturity, Puerto Rico could roll over the debt repeatedly until they can pay it down once the economy recovers.

There are other alternatives. The Fed could capitalize a separate corporation, similar to the New Deal-era Reconstruction Finance Corporation, to provide financial support to Puerto Rico. Congress could await the results of an active Supreme Court case that would allow Puerto Rico to use a local law to restructure its public corporation debt. They could investigate whether Puerto Rican debt was unconstitutionally issued, as an audit committee on the island is now doing.
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The larger point Sanders makes is this: “when there’s a will, there’s a way.” The Fed and the Treasury Department moved heaven and earth in 2008, lending to dozens of non-bank corporations and opening up numerous credit facilities to bail out Wall Street. At that time they interpreted their powers broadly, with relentless imagination to massaging the rules. If they can do that, Sanders tells Salon, they can “facilitate an orderly debt restructuring to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico.” ...

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

studentofearth's picture

a little comedy, music and the cat talking in the background about feeding him before he starves to death. The serious of the world can wait a few more minutes. Smile

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My top political priorities: 1) Healthcare - Medicare for All, 2) The right to grow food, 3) copyright & patent reform (especially PHARMA)
Live for today, you may not be here tomorrow. Plan for the future, you may live to a 100+.

QMS's picture

@studentofearth What did hillary kitty say to the big dog? It's all your fault.

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The revolution will not be televised. Proceed anyway.

studentofearth's picture

@QMS
Creating plenty of confusion to obscure who is the problem.

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My top political priorities: 1) Healthcare - Medicare for All, 2) The right to grow food, 3) copyright & patent reform (especially PHARMA)
Live for today, you may not be here tomorrow. Plan for the future, you may live to a 100+.

@studentofearth

Quite the reverse of the usual - unless Hillary-cat is chasing Big Dog because he chases other pussies?

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Lookout's picture

Made my rounds at Trade Day early. I bought a couple of items. A grower had nice mums $1 each, and some kids had some honey they had just harvested. Of course there was the usual junk galore. Half the fun is to run into folks and visit a bit as you stroll around the grounds.

I hope today is my last round of mowing till after wildflower season is over. Fall is the season of the asters...golden rod, sunflowers, liatris, and so on. It is a nice bloom this year since we had some rain this summer. The leaves are just starting to turn, and I'm hoping for a colorful fall.

I hope everyone's first week of autumn is good one!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

QMS's picture

@Lookout trying your break command, but header disappears. Now I'm confused. Will try to fix it...

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The revolution will not be televised. Proceed anyway.

mimi's picture

@Lookout
and I miss the seasons so much. My son says he likes to have no seasons, at least the homeless can't die from the freezing temperatures. Sigh. Climate issues can divide families. Grrrrr. The mind is a strange thing, it changes all the time and sticks to the same fixations nevertheless. How is that possible?

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"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

Alligator Ed's picture

@mimi All the mind-changing is to mask the fact that most people's mind go nowhere fast (or slowly if you're a HillBot).

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mimi's picture

@Alligator Ed
I remember a book and a place in Canada where psychiatrists try to find ways to un-fix fixations.
Well, the book is in a box in Germany, I have forgotten the name of the author, and I have not saved the medical guy in Canada.

Wished I had it.

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"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

Alligator Ed's picture

@mimi but not many. Some of those that do are Freudian which is not truly a scientific discipline. Classical psychoanalysis takes months or even years to "un-fix" things. Call your sister and see if she can burrow into your book box for the name and address of the Canadian doctor.

Have a pleasant stay in Hawai'i. If you see Tulsi, give her a kiss for me please.

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Socialprogressive's picture

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My God can kick your Gods ass.

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Socialprogressive's picture

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My God can kick your Gods ass.

mhagle's picture

Thanks!

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Marilyn

Let's save the planet for our kids. Tree Hugger to the end.

GreatLakeSailor's picture

...for Governor of Wisconsin.

In the video she uses phrases like "we have to meet in the middle" which scares me - like she's a centrist Bad . But then she proposes stuff that would never be supported by centrists (I have been on her email list for 6+ years and she is no Dem Centrist) so I think her phrasing is a tactical decision to get those who have voted for Walker in the past to listen to her pitch. I guess we'll see.....

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The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% have agreed to it.

@GreatLakeSailor I've heard she has the ability to pull in rural folks. These days I am feeling desperate for ANYONE but Walker so I don't have to see his smarmy smirking face.

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"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything." - Albert Einstein

@WIProgressive

Change didn't work out as well as I'd hoped. (-;

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GreatLakeSailor's picture

@WIProgressive

For me Walker and Martin Skireli (sp?) are in a dead heat for the most punchable face in the nation.

Vinehout is a dairy farmer in western Wisconsin so I suspect you're correct on the rural appeal. She also tirelessly advocates with really practical solutions for small business, small towns, schools (primarily urban and rural - suburban schools tend to be better off), the arts and environmental stewardship.

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The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% have agreed to it.

Alligator Ed's picture

@GreatLakeSailor @GreatLakeSailor The common theme is that grassroots primaries are arising to challenge incumbent or establishment candidates. The common goal is Medicare for All / Single Payer. There are more--but you'll never see anything about them on the MSM (Mainly Shit Media). Here's Amy Vilela:

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Steven D's picture

@Alligator Ed a lot.

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"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

@Alligator Ed

Wow! We need a flood like her, (even if she is an executive,) all over not only the States but everywhere, running for public office! Maybe the corporate Dems could be replaced... if only honest, independently monitored and verified elections could somehow be enforced...

Just imagine, the US actually finally having a government of, by and for the people, just like it says in the guarantee!

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

mhagle's picture

@Alligator Ed

I like her.

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Marilyn

Let's save the planet for our kids. Tree Hugger to the end.

Alligator Ed's picture

@mhagle is MFA / SP. But they all seem to support a progressive agenda in the main. This is great. Even the establishment's Dems are starting to smell the coffee instead of the anal orifices of their donors. Doom politically awaits all those of either party who do not hear the clarion call from the majority of their constituents: take care of our health or end your career.

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@Alligator Ed

And perhaps the most important part of the next elections might be to agitate for Homeland Security to allow independent/citizen groups to supervise every step of every electoral procedure for the rest of ever, making it plain that otherwise the results will not be accepted as legitimate by the public?

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

sometimes I turn on the news, kill the sound and put on the soundtrack to Koyaanisqatsi or Powaqqatsi real loud, eat Cheetos and get drunk. There, I said it.

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QMS's picture

@Snode your technique sounds most palatable!

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The revolution will not be televised. Proceed anyway.

Alligator Ed's picture

@QMS

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@Snode
M & M's and Red Hots for supper while we watched TV. I have not done anything like that in a long time, but it felt great....for a while.

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Lily O Lady's picture

@Snode

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

GreatLakeSailor's picture

I have seen Satyagraha*, Akhnaten, 1000 Airplanes on the Roof, The Philip Glass Ensemble (2x) and a Glass solo piano recital (where he played for about 90 or 100 minutes all without sheet music).

* I went to the lecture Glass held before the opera. For those unfamiliar, Satyagraha is not linear in time - events unfold out of order. In the question and answer part of the lecture a woman asked, "If events are out of order time-wise, how will I know when...I mean how does one...ummm..." Glass jumps in, "How will you know when to cry?" "Yes!" says the woman. Glass, "Oh, you'll know when to cry."

from: http://philipglass.com/compositions/satyagraha/

The second in Glass’ trilogy about men who changed the world, Satyagraha’s sub-text is politics. The opera is semi-narrative in form and deals with Mahatma Gandhi’s early years in South Africa and his development of non-violent protest into a political tool. (“Satyagraha” is a Sanskrit word meaning “truth force”).

The first two acts each contain three scenes; the last is one continuous scene. Each act is dominated by a single historic figure (non-singing role) overlooking the action from above: the Indian poet Ravindranath Tagore in Act I the Russian author Leo Tolstoy in Act II, the American Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr in Act III.

Spoiler Alert!

Of course the time to cry is when MLK is assassinated. Act III libretto (sung in Sanskrit, English translation):

Kasturbai and Mrs. Naidoo:

In what for others is night, therein is the man of self-restraint wide awake, separate from passion and hate, self-possessed and drawing near to calm serenity. This is the athlete of the spirit, whose ground remains unmoved, whole soul stands firmly on it. This is the fixed, still state which sustains even at the time of death the athletes of the spirit, who even then set forth, some to return, some never to return. Outstanding is he whose soul views in the selfsame way comrades and enemies, loving all alike.

Gandhi:

The Lord said, I have passed through many a birth and many have you. I know them all but you do not. Yet by my creative energy, I consort with Nature and come to be in time. Whenever the law of righteousness withers away and lawlessness arises, then do I generate myself on earth. I come into being age after age and take a visible shape and move a man with men for the protection of good, thrusting the evil back and setting virtue on her seat again.

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The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% have agreed to it.

QMS's picture

@GreatLakeSailor only knew I liked the music. Having read about the "truth force" adds another dimension. solid

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The revolution will not be televised. Proceed anyway.

enhydra lutris's picture

humor and possess only a sense of irony. It was said as if it were a bad thing, but, hey, it keeps me in stitches instead of wailing, gnashing my teeth and weeping. Can't be all bad.

I've got about 2 day's worth of chores and errands lined up for today, so we'll see if I can laugh that off, heh.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

QMS's picture

@enhydra lutris haven't heard that one in a long time. good luck with chores Smile

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Alligator Ed's picture

@QMS Heck, that's what I did for a living.

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@enhydra lutris

make me laugh. So, I must disagree that you have no true sense of humor. Besides.....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

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