Links, 8/16/11

The Steelworkers made this cool video for their Convention. I think the voiceover guy is the same one as did the Chrysler 200 Super Bowl ad.

Banana Republic of America

Public Citizen has a calculator you can use to find out how many jobs from your congressional district may be lost in the Korean Trade deal.

The GOP is gaining among poor and younger white voters. A lot of these people are the same hardest hit by the jobs crisis.

Naomi Klein compares the London riots to Argentine riots of 2001 and looting after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

It turns out Quantitative Easing helps the MOTUs, but not so much the little people–it mostly went to increased profits and higher prices for goods. Yet these same people who benefited from the higher profits say they can’t be taxed because it’d be unfair.

WalMart’s sales continue to be at risk because their customers keep switching down to lower priced goods.

Our War on Communism Terror Drugs African-Americans Photographers Commuters

The National Security Archive, after much work, has liberated the CIA’s official history of the Bay of Pigs. One of the big revelations is a judgment from November 15, 1960 that the plan would fail without full DOD support–a judgment never shared with Kennedy.

Yochi Dreazen says the SEALs killed in last week’s helicopter attack were pursuing low-level militants unworthy of such an elite team. Of course, one might ask why we’re fighting Taliban with SEALs and not those last 50 al Qaeda members in Afghanistan, too.

Another Al Jazeera journalist has been arrested, this time by Israel. They claim the journalist, Kabul bureau chief Samer Allawi, has ties to Hamas.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms just gave promotions to the supervisors who lost a bunch of guns in Operation Fast and Furious–one of them to be Deputy Assistant in BATF’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Security, their internal watchdog. If Darrell Issa didn’t already think this was a cover-up I’m sure this would convince him.

Rahm wants to settle the civil suits arising out of Jon Burge’s torture. While he seems squeamish about letting Mayor Daley testify, settling the suits is absolutely the right thing to do–and a far cry from what Rahm’s former boss is doing in the Vance, Doe, and Padilla suits–these men were all tortured by their government and it’s just appalling to try to deny liability to save a few bucks. Athenae has more on the reporting on this story.

I once took a photography class with a guy doing an entire book of road kill–some of the images were very cool. Lucky, that was in UT and not Long Beach, since cops in that city have a policy that says they can detain photographers if their images have no aesthetic value.

SUSA shows that most people aren’t that bugged that BART shut down its tunnel network last week. (h/t Digby) Hopefully, that won’t deter the FCC from their investigation.

Power to the Power Companies

Japanese utilities, encouraged by the government (and specifically the nuclear industry watchdog), are astroturfing meetings to create the illusion of support for reopening nuclear power plants. Now the effort is backfiring.

47 replies
  1. MadDog says:

    Having lived in Long Beach when I was in the Navy, I can tell you that it is likely a central worry of Homeland Security given its extensive port facilities and the ubiquitous oil storage facilities and refineries.

    And as the Long Beach Police department was typically staffed by LAPD and LASD castoffs, their attitude to the general public was the typical LAPD/LASD cowboy mentality of “shoot first and ask questions later”.

    Detaining photographers in Long Beach fits right into their John Wayne mentality.

  2. emptywheel says:

    @MadDog: Yeah, I was thinking about that–they see themselves as guarding the tidal wave of danger coming in off the Pacific.

  3. emptywheel says:

    @MadDog: Incidentally, I realized yesterday, as I let a big truck into the USPS processing facility by my house, that logistics really fascinates me. Even that squalid USPS facility, but especially things like ports. I love Duluth bc the cranes are so central to the landscape of the city (and, it has a big hill). So I’d probably the the one taking pics of all teh cool shipping containers.

    So if I”m every on a trip to LA area and disappear, check with the Long Beach cops.

  4. scribe says:

    @emptywheel: Next time you fly into Newark, don’t look out the window, lest you be mesmerized by the sights of acres upon acres of containers, trains, boats and cranes and not leave the plane.

  5. rosalind says:

    one of my fav temp jobs in Seattle was working for Sealand. i was fascinated by the mechanics of filling the ships up container by container.

    learned a lot of Asian port names.

    the view out of the 50th floor window watching the ferries criss-crossing the Sound didn’t hurt.

  6. prostratedragon says:

    cops in that city have a policy that says they can detain photographers if their images have no aesthetic value.

    Hmmm, this should eventually result in many more lines in my long-running epic, “Your Camera Is Not Ready.”

  7. matthew carmody says:

    @MadDog: Prelude to Civil War by William Freehling detailing the Nullification campaign in South Carolina from 1816-1836 is like reading the papers today, complete with tea parties and everything and astroturf groups.

    These people have been at this a long, long time.

  8. emptywheel says:

    @scribe: Actually, it’s the refineries in Jersey that get me. Though maybe Jersey is also where I got my container fetish. Our closest relatives were in Philly growing up, so I drove by the port all the time.

  9. emptywheel says:

    @rosalind: See? You too.

    And I love flying out of Shanghai (already, back in the mid-00s, before the economy crashed) and you could see the container ships on the ocean from 30,000 feet, they looked like tiny kids toys, carrying all our cheap kids’ toys to the US.

  10. MadDog says:

    @matthew carmody: The US Civil War never really ended, did it?

    Unfortunately, you can’t get Democratic politicos to ever fess up to this truth.

    I don’t know whether it’s because the Democratic politicos believe that to give voice to this thought is to breathe life into it, or whether if pretending it doesn’t exist means it might go away.

    The Confederates however have no such disability. From the ashes they rise again, and again, and again!

  11. emptywheel says:

    @MadDog: You see, Rosalind and I aren’t just any women.

    So if you’re looking to us as your gauge of whether you understand women or not, you’re already making a mistake.

  12. Valley Girl says:

    Marcy- thanks for the great link re: Long Beach photographer/ photography. I kept following the links and got to this longer story, which gives more detail, plus the photo.

    I think it’s a great photo! I would love to know if this person posts on flickr- certainly fits the “Urban Decay” theme (at least one group there).

    Oh, and hi Rosalind! Remember me? I do you!

    I take mostly kitty with my Canon digis, but this would not have passed the “Long Beach” test:[email protected]/4519323554/

  13. Valley Girl says:

    p.s. for amusement, I went off to flickr to find Long Beach photos. I like these three, and I don’t think they would have passed the LBPD “test”. So far, no Long Beach road kill pixs found, but my efforts will continue.

    links to 3 flickr pix Long Beach[email protected]/[email protected]/[email protected]/

    UH, apologies for getting a little carried away, but story struck a nerve for various reasons- most recently being harassed in Morocco for photography.

  14. Valley Girl says:


    Sorry I missed your comment earlier- explains a lot. I just kinda cruised through the Long Beach photos on flickr, but I’m sure there were plenty of ports, etc.

  15. MadDog says:

    @Valley Girl:
    Hey VG!

    My Navy ship was tied up to the dock 28 days out of 30 (a Naval Reserve Force ship), so for 4 years I daily had the scenic panorama of huge ships, huge cranes, and how miniscule the physical size of a human being really is.

    So in a way, I’ve shared EW’s and Rosalind’s amazement of shipports.

    The most striking visual memory I have of my Navy service was while I was on my ship (a 172 foot long wooden minesweeper) on a semi-foggy morning sailing away from San Francisco and while passing under the humongous Golden Gate bridge, having the USS Midway aircraft carrier also going out to sea and blowing past us at 30+ knots like we were sitting still.

    Part of the visual awesomeness was the fact that my ship was like the size of a mouse trying to avoid getting stepped on by an elephant.

  16. P J Evans says:

    Try Wilmington. Or San Pedro. They’re in LA, so you might be safer.

    Heck, you can see the Imperial Walkers cranes from the highrises in downtown LA – that’s fifteen miles, at least.

  17. MadDog says:

    @P J Evans: Sounds like you’re familiar with the area. Is the Terminal Island bridge still functioning?

    I used to drive across it daily and then the Vincent Thomas bridge to get to my ship at the now defunct Long Beach Naval Station.

    The TI and VT bridges had excellent views of the port.

    Spent months in drydock over in San Pedro while our ship was refurbed. Did the same thing down in San Diego.

  18. Valley Girl says:


    Love your comment about GGB. I once was taken in a small sailboat out into the SF Bay, going under the Golden Gate Bridge- East bay marina to the Bay, under the Bridge, and beyond! It was a pretty rocky day, but wow! Loved it.

  19. MadDog says:

    @Valley Girl: I’ve both driven across the GGB and sailed underneath it.

    While the view is grand while driving to-from-across it, I have to say that handsdown, the view from passing underneath on a ship is totally awesome.

  20. MadDog says:

    @Valley Girl: Those Flickr pictures are great!

    Brings back some good memories which some may find weird (refineries, oil pumps, etc.), but for a 21 year old Minnesota boy let loose in Southern California for 4 years, I was in Paradise. *g*

  21. MadDog says:

    For folks who’ve been in the Navy, this will be most familiar.

    For folks who’ve never been in the Navy, this could give you nightmares. *g*

    Subject: How to simulate being a Sailor

    1. Buy a steel dumpster, paint it gray inside and out, and live in it for six months.

    2. Run all the pipes and wires in your house exposed on the walls.

    3. Repaint your entire house every month.

    4. Renovate your bathroom. Build a wall across the middle of the bathtub and move the shower-head to chest level. When you take showers, make sure you turn off the water while you soap down.

    5. Put lube-oil in your humidifier and set it on high.

    6. Once a week, blow compressed air up your chimney, making sure the wind carries the soot onto your neighbor’s house. Ignore his complaints.

    7. Once a month, take all major appliances apart and then re-assemble them.

    8. Raise the thresholds and lower the headers of your front and back doors, so that you either trip or bang your head every time you pass through them.

    9. Disassemble and inspect your lawnmower every week.

    10. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, turn your water heater temperature up to 200 degrees. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, turn the water heater off on Saturdays and Sundays. Tell your family they use too much water during the week, so no bathing will be allowed.

    11. Raise your bed to within 6 inches of the ceiling, so you can’t turn over without getting out and then getting back in.

    12. Sleep on the shelf in your closet. Replace the closet door with a curtain. Have your spouse whip open the curtain about 3 hours after you go to sleep, shine a flashlight in your eyes, and say “Sorry, wrong rack”.

    13. Make your family qualify to operate each appliance in your house – dishwasher operator, blender technician, etc.

    14. Have your neighbor come over each day at 5 am, blow a whistle so loud that Helen Keller could hear it, and shout “Reveille, reveille, all hands heave out and trice up”.

    15. Have your mother-in-law write down everything she’s going to do the following day, then have her make you stand in your back yard at 6 am while she reads it to you.

    16. Submit a request chit to your father-in-law requesting permission to leave your house before 3 p.m..

    17. Empty all the garbage bins in your house and sweep the driveway three times a day, whether it needs it or not. (Now sweepers, sweepers, man your brooms, give the ship a clean sweep down fore and aft, empty all trash cans over the fantail.)

    18. Have your neighbor collect all your mail for a month, read your magazines, and randomly lose every 5th item before delivering it to you.

    19. Watch no TV except for movies played in the middle of the night. Have your family vote on which movie to watch, then show a different one.

    20. When your children are in bed, run into their room with a megaphone shouting that your home is under attack and ordering them to their battle stations. (Now general quarters, general quarters, all hands man your battle stations.)

    21. Make your family menu a week ahead of time without consulting the pantry or refrigerator.

    22. Post a menu on the kitchen door informing your family that they are having steak for dinner. Then make them wait in line for an hour. When they finally get to the kitchen, tell them you are out of steak, but they can have dried ham or hot dogs. Repeat daily until they ignore the menu and just ask for hot dogs.

    23. Bake a cake. Prop up one side of the pan so the cake bakes unevenly. Spread icing real thick to level it off.

    24. Get up every night around midnight and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on stale bread. (mid-rats)

    25. Set your alarm clock to go off a random during the night. At the alarm, jump up and dress as fast as you can, making sure to button your top shirt button and tuck your pants into your socks. Run out into the back yard and uncoil the garden hose.

    26. Every week or so, throw your cat or dog in the pool and shout “Man overboard port side!” Rate your family members on how fast they respond.

    27. Put the headphones from your stereo on your head, but don’t plug them in. Hang a paper cup around your neck on a string. Stand in front of the stove, and speak into the paper cup “Stove manned and ready”. After an hour or so, speak into the cup again “Stove secured.” Roll up the headphones and paper cup and stow them in a shoebox.

    28. Place a podium at the end of your driveway. Have your family stand watches at the podium, rotating at 4-hour intervals. This is best done when the weather is worst. January is a good time.

    29. When there is a thunderstorm in your area, get a wobbly rocking chair, sit in it and rock as hard as you can until you become nauseous. Make sure to have a supply of stale crackers in your shirt pocket.

    30. For former engineers: bring your lawn mower into the living room and run it all day long.

    31. Make coffee using eighteen scoops of budget-priced coffee grounds per pot, and allow the pot to simmer for 5 hours before drinking.

    32. Have someone under the age of 10 give you a haircut with sheep shears.

    33. Sew the back pockets of your jeans on the front.

    34. Every couple of weeks, dress up in your best clothes and go to the scummiest part of town. Find the most run down, trashiest bar, and drink beer until you are hammered. Then walk all the way home.

    35. Take a two-week vacation visiting the red light districts of Europe or the Far East, and call it “world travel”.

    36. Lock yourself and your family in the house for six weeks. Tell them that at the end of the 6th week you are going to take them to Disney World for “liberty”. At the end of the 6th week, inform them the trip to Disney World has been canceled because they need to get ready for an inspection, and it will be another week before they can leave the house.

  22. Valley Girl says:


    hey! my last comment to you is “awaiting moderation”! LOL. I wonder what I did to trip the filter- too many comments?

  23. rosalind says:

    @emptywheel: Hey VG! Great to have you back in the threads. I just went to a local Slug mixer a couple weeks back. Lots of newbie grads. My usual joke of “You probably weren’t born when I graduated” turned out – sadly – to not be a joke this time out.

    Instead of people saying what they do for a living, it was people saying what they USED to do for a living, how long they’ve been out of work, how much longer their spouse will have work, the dismal prospects for finding work. Interesting times.

  24. Valley Girl says:


    Hi, well, my last two comments tripped some kind of filter (awaiting moderation), so I hope you see this!

    Yikes, re: your experience. Was this mixer in LA, or SC? Just curious- only b/c I am interested to know where SC grads end up. And, yeah, about the age thing. It would be interesting to know if SC still attracts the same kind of students as it did when you and I were there. One point is that SC admission was really really competitive at that time. The other point is that it attracted a lot of “free spirits” back then! I wonder if the latter is still the same.

    But, whatever, I think a lot of recent grads with more creative aspirations (from where ever) are suffering same.

    xxoo VG

  25. rkilowatt says:

    If you were looking for an oxymoron and found “CIA Historian”, it would do well.

    Ditto “Agency Historian”.

  26. caberkeleywv says:

    “Oficial” history of hte bay of Pigs” how did Schelssinger and Thomas get some of it for their biographies on RFK that I could find my late f-i-l the Company lawyer in the index? Selective leaks? I know the 40 yr time frame meant that his legal opionions were being realeased. @ferralike says they consider him a hero over there because after the f’u he got them back.

  27. Garrett says:

    I don’t much trust the new Gen. Allen version of the SEAL helicopter crash. Especially since it comes packaged with “we identified and tracked the individual RPG shooter down, and killed him” stuff.

    I don’t trust earlier versions of the story either. Things said by officials to the media about DevGru operations tend to be a little bit, well, wildly conflicting. Wardak crash, and Linda Norgrove attempted rescue.

  28. Bob Schacht says:


    37: Never wash your coffee cup, and holler at anyone who does.

    [I once borrowed a coffee cup from a Navy guy, and thought I did him a favor by cleaning it out before I gave it back.]

    Bob in AZ

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