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Thursday Evening News Roundup

Thursday Evening News Roundup

Israeli man takes cover as air raid sirens go off (Reuters)

Can somebody please tell me what’s going on in Israel and the Gaza Strip? I don’t understand why Hamas is lobbing missiles into Israel. The only reason that I can possibly think of would be that they’re trying to provoke a military response from Israel. They think they have something. I don’t know what it is. Maybe a new weapon – chemical, biological or nuclear? Maybe they have thousands of troops that have now been trained? I don’t know. The whole thing doesn’t make sense. (Look for the neoconservatives to start blaming Obama for the violence in Gaza. The reason that there is violence in Gaza is because Barack Obama has refused to lead on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. I guarantee you that’s gonna be there line of reasoning.)

Dell Computers’ third-quarter profit has dropped by 47%. Surprised? Just the other day I was talking to a friend of mine and I told him that for years I was buying two or three new computers every year. If I wasn’t buying one for myself I was buying one for my wife. One year I bought a desktop and the following year I bought a laptop. If I wasn’t buying a computer for myself, my wife or my daughter I was buying one as a present for my mother, my father, one of my siblings. I simply don’t do that anymore. My desktop computer is approximately 18 months old. I bought all the components to the computer online and got a local computer guru to put everything together for me. My computer’s fast as lightning. It cost me $700-$800 less than a comparable computer from Dell or Hewlett-Packard or any of the major brand names. Things changed. Dell needs to change or they’re in serious trouble. Tablets have been out for a while. Does Dell have a tablet that rivals the iPad? I didn’t think so.

The US Post Office is in financial trouble, again. Look for conservatives to smile and pounce.

I didn’t know that black people didn’t vote. Was there a meeting that I’d missed?

From the financial sector: Inflation does not seem to be a problem at least it wasn’t in October. Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman, basically believes that lending standards have become too tight. The housing market is still problematic. Real income has fallen.

Walmart is in trouble. There’s a federal investigation into suspicions of bribery; not only in Mexico, but also China, India and Brazil. (more…)

By |2012-11-16T20:21:28-04:00November 16th, 2012|Business, Environment, Israel, Obama administration|2 Comments

Neocons and the Soviet block

I thought this article from author Janine Wedel was extremely interesting:

In communist Poland, the necessity of getting around the state-controlled system created a society whose lifeblood–just beneath the surface–was vital information, circulated only among friends and trusted colleagues, information that was not publicly available. Under-the-radar dealings that often played on the margins of legality – this was the norm, not the exception.

Then, in 1989, the system collapsed in eastern Europe, and in 1991, the Soviet Union came apart. The command structure of these centrally planned states that had owned virtually all the property, companies and wealth broke down and no authoritarian stand-in was put in its place. The result? Long-standing informal networks, positioning themselves at the state-private nexus, rose to fill leadership vacuums and, at times, reaped the spoils of previously state-owned wealth. Known variously as “clans” in Russia, “institutional nomadic networks” in Poland, and by still other names elsewhere, always their members were energetic and well-placed, sometimes also ethically challenged. And these are networks that can’t be reduced to a political party, business or lobbying organization, NGO, social club, yet they have some of the attributes of all of them.

Fast forward from transitional eastern Europe to this decade in the United States. I began to recognize a familiar (to me) architecture of power and influence. I started to follow the networks and overlapping connections in government, foundations, think tanks, and business of a tiny set of neoconservatives – just a dozen or so players I call the “Neocon core”.

Some core members have been working together from in and outside of government for some 30 years to refashion a more aggressive American foreign policy. They have capitalized on an ever-more hospitable environment shaped by such trends as the hollowing out of the state, the explosion of private entities that fill in for government, and the questioning of authority and professional expertise. (more…)

By |2010-03-26T05:42:48-04:00March 26th, 2010|Party Politics|Comments Off on Neocons and the Soviet block

Grab bag: how 'bout that Friday snowstorm?

pritchard park snow

  • The snow has stopped for now. Yesterday, there were estimates of 2-5 inches of snow in the Asheville area. The weatherman stated that there would be more in higher elevations. It appears that most of the Asheville region has received 7-10 inches of snow. The snow was expected to crank up again before it finally moves out of the area sometime tomorrow afternoon.
  • Pres. Obama went to a Republican caucus today. He thought he would keep the lines of communication open. One thing I have to say, I do admire our president. He gave a short speech then took questions from the audience. Some questions were civil. Others tried to make political points. The president did a fabulous job answering the questions and not being cornered. He also pointed out when some congressmen were trying to make cheap political points at the expense of the president. Many major networks carried this event. When it appeared obvious that Pres. Obama was not going to make some major gaffe, FOX News cut away and began running with the story that Obama was lecturing Republicans. I guess it was more important to FOX to stay within their narrative as opposed to actually cover the event in its entirety.
  • A really interesting thing went on in England today. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair was grilled for about six hours over his decision to take Britain into war with the United States in Iraq. I think it is no surprise that Tony Blair was unapologetic about his decision. Although there were no breakthroughs and as far as I know, and nothing of substance will come from this, I think the exercise is interesting. Can you imagine a congressional committee calling President Bush or VP Cheney to answer questions about the invasion of Iraq? On one level, it would be political theater. On another, it would be nice for us, the American people, to get specific answers to specific questions. I know, I’m dreaming. One thing is clear, with the neoconservatives in charge at that time, I don’t see how we will get any other answer after 9/11. These were not just war hawks. They were hawks on steroids. With Bush and Cheney in the White House, I don’t see how Saddam Hussein could ever avoid war. They asked for, and wanted complete and unfettered access to Iraq in order to search for weapons of mass destruction. No sovereign nation would submit to that. Plus, what Bush, Cheney and the CIA didn’t know was that the Saddam Hussein regime depended upon the threat of weapons of mass destruction in order to stay in power. Saddam Hussein had the Kurds in the north, the Shiites in the south and Iran to worry about. In 10 or 20 years, when we look back upon this mess that we created in the Middle East, we’ll ask ourselves how we let this happen. We don’t have to look any further than allowing neocons in the White House.
  • 47-year-old former NFL star Herschel Walker is fighting whom? Why?
  • New FOX news contributor and former Gov. Sarah Palin thinks that the GOP and the tea baggers need to merge in one big party of love. (I added that party of love. She just wants them to merge into one party.)
  • It took the jury less than 40 minutes to find Scott Roeder guilty of murdering Dr. George Tiller.
  • The Errington Thompson Show has been moved to 4 PM on Saturday afternoons. You can still listen to my show through my blog whenever you want to. My guest this week will be Grammy award-winning bassist Larry Fulcher. I have given Larry the following scenario — you know that you’re going to be stranded on a tropical island. You can take your stereo and 20 CDs with you. You’ll be stranded for one year. What CDs would you take? I think you like Larry’s answers. This is a great show.
By |2010-01-29T23:27:56-04:00January 29th, 2010|Iraq, Legal, Music, Party Politics, Sports|Comments Off on Grab bag: how 'bout that Friday snowstorm?
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