Watching America is a site with translated news items from abroad concering America.
Particularly liked this:
In his closing speech at the second meeting of the 12th National People’s Congress, Xi Jinping described the dream of his people:
“To achieve a comprehensively well-off society, to build a prosperous, strong, democratic, civilized and harmonious modern socialist country, and to attain the Chinese dream of the great renaissance of the Chinese nation is to achieve prosperity, revitalize the nation and bring about the happiness of the people.”
Richie Havens graced the world with his music and his beautiful soul.
He was what all those ’60s wannabes wanted to be, the genuine article, a man of enormous integrity in his music and his life. Continue reading →
is like sex – even when it’s not great, it’s still good.
The best gazpacho I ever ate was in a Spanish restaurant on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, La Mancha; which is evidently now closed. 🙁 They also had a marvelous garlic soup and shrimp al ajillo. (Yes, I like garlic.)
Key Lime Pie – from my family’s cookbook.
1 baked 9″ pie shell
2 1/4 cups canned condensed milk.
(2 14oz. cans Eagle Brand or equivalent)
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup + 2 tblsp lime juice
4 tsps grated lime rind
(I can seldom find Key Limes and they are very small. I use one regular lime and bottled lime juice). Continue reading →
Military training and the spreading militarization of many police departments has a basic goal: teach your troops to regard their targets as objects rather than human beings deserving of concern, mercy or even common decency. The cost of that indoctrination is horrendous to both the victims and the practitioners. By denying the humanity of the enemy or the supposed-enemy, the criminal or assumed criminal, the annoying and troublesome protester, the soldier and policeman are free to inflict anything up to and including death on their targets. In doing so, they forfeit their own humanity Those in control of the process are themselves inhumane, else they would not install, sustain, exercise, project and protect the process. Those soldiers and police whose personal integrity and sense of humanity prevents the indoctrination are marginalized or booted out. Those less strong end up doing things that haunt them the rest of their lives and leave them psychologically crippled.
How much worse when the killers have no conscience?
And we voted for them or the people who appointed them.
The US government no longer pays any attention to the Geneva Conventions and the international laws once supported by the United States until “the war on terror” took over the government. The Bush and Obama regimes have eliminated morality from the picture. Any combatant who surrenders or is captured is likely to be illegally tortured, as all available evidence shows. Paul Craig Roberts
Interesting post from Ian Welsh. The upside is that catastrophe brings out the best in people.
The downside is that it takes a catastrophe to bring out the best in people.
The great problem we have today in improving our society, in fixing our economy, is that so many people don’t want to give up what they have.
But what the past 40 years have proven is this: if you lose your job, you’re on your own. If you’re in your 40s and 50s and you lose a good job, you’ll probably never, ever, have a good job ever again. People who are displaced by economic change, good or bad, aren’t taken care of. We have reduced retraining, made welfare and unemployment insurance harder to get, increased university tuition, not made efforts to find or create new, good jobs. We hire foreigners to take over the job of older techies, since they cost too much.
So they grasp tightly to what they have, and everyone fights to make sure that nothing really changes. Each person, with their little or big piece of the pie, fights viciously to keep it whether it’s good for society or not.
…only in extremis,  people realize that everyone is in it together, will they be willing to take care of each other. And only in time of catastrophe, when so many have lost everything, will they be willing to change society.
Now that the dust has been stirred up and most of it has settled, I would like to solicit ideas from the entire Agonist community, from the top to the bottom.
I am seeking thoughts on how best to administer the site, keep posts flowing and serve both our writers and our readers going forward.
If the thread gets too long it will be closed to comments and new thread started, so feel free to let your creative juices flow.
BTW: With a Nor’Easter headed my way, my access to the ‘Net might be interrupted, so don’t panic or be offended if a response is not immediate over the next couple of days.