Archive for November 2014

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FAREED ZAKARIA, (CNN) The midterm election results were just one more reflection of the pervasive discontent in the United States these days. Two-thirds of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, and yet if one looks at the rest of the world, what’s striking is how well the United States is doing relative to other major economies.

President Obama says the United States has produced more jobs in its recovery than the rest of the industrialized world put together. Why is this? Many believe the American economy has some inherent advantages over its major competitors, a more flexible structure, stronger entrepreneurial traditions, a more demographically dynamic society.

Well, along comes a fascinating new book that says you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Peter Zeihan’s “The Accidental Super Power” begins with geography, pointing out that America is the world’s largest consumer market for a reason — rivers. Transporting goods by water, he points out, is 12 times cheaper than by land which is why civilizations have always flourished around rivers.

And America, Zeihan calculates, has more navigable waterways, 17,600 miles worth, than the rest of the world put together. By comparison, he notes, China and Germany have about 2,000 miles each, and all of the Arab world has just 120 miles of river.

But that’s just the beginning. The world’s greatest river network directly overlies the world’s largest piece of Arable land, the American Midwest, he writes. Add to this America’s many and unequal deep water ports which you need in order to get goods to and from the rest of the world. Chesapeake Bay alone boasts longer stretches of prime port property than the entire continental coast of Asia from Vladivostok to Lahore, writes Zeihan.

All of these factors combined have created the world’s largest consumer market, surplus savings and a dynamic unified economy. It’s also remarkably self-sufficient. Imports made up 17 percent of the American economy in 2012 according to the World Bank. Compare that to Germany’s 46 percent or China’s 25 percent. And this number in the U.S. will fall as America imports less and less foreign oil.

Zeihan emphasizes the degree to which America’s energy revolution has insulated it from the rest of the world. Thanks to efforts to extract shale, North America has much of the energy it needs at home. As the world gets messier, he argues, there are fewer and fewer compelling reasons for America to pay blood and treasure to stabilize it.

I’m not as sure as Zeihan that America’s advantages are simply structural. If one looks at the last five years, again in comparative terms, American public policy actually comes out looking impressive. To combat the global economic crisis of 2008, Washington acted speedily and creatively on three fronts, aggressive monetary policy, fiscal policy, and reform and recapitalization of the banking sector.

Every other rich country did less and has seen a more troubled return to normalcy.

Now since the response to the crisis, Washington has been paralyzed and polarized, but this is not the entirety of American politics. Beyond the beltway, mayors and governors are reaching across party lines partnering with the private sector and making reforms and investments for future growth.

When Tocqueville wrote about America in the 1830s he was struck by the bottom up vitality of its towns and villages. So as we approach Thanksgiving, let’s bear in mind that the genius of America is still alive, whatever most Americans might think.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1411/23/fzgps.01.html

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Lawrence O’Donnell (MSNBC) “Just before officer Darren Wilson testified to the grand jury investigating his killing of Michael Brown the assistant District Attorney handling the case said this to the grand jurors ‘I’m going to pass out to you all, you all are going to receive a copy of a statute,It is section 563.046, and it is, it says law enforcement officers use of force in making an arrest, and it is the law on what is permissible, what force is permissible, and when in making an arrest by a police officer.’  The Assistant District Attorney Kathy Alizadeh then handed the grand jury a copy of a 1979 Missouri law that was ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 1985.  She was handing them something that had not been law in Missouri during her entire legal career.  But, it was very helpful to officer Darren Wilson that the Assistant District Attorney handed the grand jury an old unconstitutional law which said incorrectly that it is legal to shoot fleeing suspects, simply because they are fleeing.”

 

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Bill Maher speaking about the Republican reaction to President Obama’s executive order on immigration “They’re so paranoid, Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said these illegal immigrants, they’re gonna to be voting.  OK, there’s no evidence of illegal immigrants ever voting, although they should.  There’s another job Americans won’t do.”

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President Barack Obama “To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill,”

 

Radio Show 88 Thursday November 20, 2014 9-11pm Eastern US Time WBKM.ORG   Leave a comment

WBKM CREW

WBKM CREW

 

I just got back from doing my local music radio show on internet only Wbkm Dot Org, and seeing music at Club Metronome. Much like Blue Button I started and ended classic and threw some new songs in the middle.

Song Before: Like A Hurricane – Neil Young

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intro

From our small city to the great big world, these are the Sounds of Burlington. It’s a cold night in Burlington and it’s making me want the comfort of come classics. Here are some spy songs to get us going. This is Opium Spy Thriller by Ninja Custodian on WBKM, and this is Burlington’s kind of music.

1.) Opium Spy Thriller – Ninja Custodian
2.) The Spy Song – Pinhead
3.) Goodbye Mr Bond – Blotto

I loved seeing Blotto at Hunt’s. All three bands used to play in the ’80’s in Burlington. It’s cold, and one of the best ways to warm up is to burn something. This band is likely playing right now at Club Metronome.

4.) Burn Burn Burn – Phil Yates & The Affiliates
5.) What’s In California? – Joshua Glass
6.) A Quiet Pun – Joe Adler
7.) Gold in California – The Red Telephone
8.) California’s Burning – Thompson Gunner

The best ways to stay warm in a Vermont winter are to burn something, or go somewhere warm like California. OK, on to the next song on Lipstick and Dynamite.

9.) Rejected – Black Rabbit
10.) We’re Closed – Blue Button
11.) I-90 East – ROUGH FRANCIS

Rough Francis have a couple of birthday shows coming up in early December at Radio Bean. Blue Button are playing with Phil Yates and Dino Bravo VT at Metronome tonight. I keep missing shows by this next band and will have to cure that soon. I love these three as one piece.

12.) Sequoia I – Binger
13.) Sequoia II – Binger
14.) Sequoia III – Binger

Love the music and the deep thinking lyrics. This next guy has some great lyrics too.

15.) The Time Traveler – Jeremy Gilchrist
16.) Flux Capacitor – Wave of the Future
17.) Linea – Vetica

Vetica have broken up and have a new album coming out soon. I can’t wait! Wave are so much fun, and I love the lyrical tie in with Jeremy. The WBKM birthday party at Nectar’s last Saturday was a blast. These guys were amazing.

18.) Echoes – Bud & Budd ~ The Kind Buds
19.) Restraints – Seth Yacovone Band
20.) Bamboozled By Love – Bob Wagner and the Book ‘Em Blues Band

Book ‘Em played a killer version of that Frank Zappa song at the birthday show. Seth and the band were amazing doing a Neil Young set, and the Kind Buds were just phenomenal. This next song is one of the great songs to come out of this town recently.

21.) The Next Instead – Swale
22.) Highway Brain – The Cush
23.) Vitamin Dee – Persian Claws

Great new song from the digital release of the Claws album. Thanks Cush for the killer shows at Arts Riot and Radio Bean!! Hmm, Swale. That was all new, so let’s end classic. I love this song.

24.) Powder – The New Siberians
25.) Tastes Like Nothing – Zola Turn
26.) Every Time I Hear That Mellow Saxophone – Big Joe Burrell and the Unknown Blues Band

I hope you enjoyed checking out the music of our town. Next week is Thanksgiving but we can check it out again the week after.

outro

promo

Song after: The Company – Fish

 

Posted November 21, 2014 by tmusicfan in WBKM Burlington's Kind of Music

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http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/67tlr7/bernie-sanders-pt–2

Stephen Colbert “Now, Senator Sanders you’re a guy who’s a rabble-rouser.  You whip people up.  That may play in Vermont, but there is talk that you may be throwing your hat into the Presidential ring.  Sir, I only have 15 more shows.  If you want the Colbert bump…  Are you ready to declare tonight? … Would you like to make some news?”

Sen Bernie Sanders (I-VT) “The news is I’m thinking about running for President. ”

Colbert “Sir, you have a campaign manager.  Is he doing nothing?  Is that just socialist handouts?”

Sanders “We haven’t put anybody on the campaign staff yet.  What we have to ascertain is whether or not in this country there is the appetite and willingness to put together a strong grass-roots movement to take on the billionaire class.  That’s a very difficult undertaking and when you’re running against people who have unlimited sums of money the question is how you raise the twenty dollars and forty dollar contributions, the money that you need to run a serious campaign.  So, those are the issues we’re looking at.”

Colbert “OK, you believe the government can achieve things.  True?  That’s a controversial stance.  Can you name a country where that’s worked out?”

Sanders “I think, one of the sad things about American politics is that we don’t know a whole lot about what’s going on in a number of other countries.  In Denmark, for example, you have a very good health care system which provides quality care to all of its people without out of pocket expense.  At a time when our young people, by the millions, are having a hard time affording to go to college, are graduating deeply in debt, in Denmark college and graduate school is without any out of pocket expense.”

Colbert “I do want to point one thing out to you Senator.  Denmark has five and a half million people and I have more than that on my Twitter feed.  So, I’m going to tweet something here tonight, uhm, hold on, ‘suck it Denmark’.  Alright folks, please retweet that.  If I get more get more retweets than there are people in Denmark, (points at Sanders) you have to move there.”

 

 

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FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: But first here is my take. As Moscow continues to send its forces into Ukraine, it seems clear that Putin’s Russia presents America and the West with a frontal challenge. But in the longer run, it is not Russia’s overt military assault, but China’s patient and steady nonmilitary moves that might prove the greater challenge. Russia is a great power in decline. Its economy amounts to just 3.4 percent of global GDP. China’s is nearly 16 percent and rising. Now almost four times the size of Japan’s and five times that of Germany’s according to the World Bank.

Presidents Obama and Xi deserve the accolades they are receiving for their historic agreement on climate change and it seems to suggest that America and China are moving toward a new, productive relationship. Except that even while signing these accords, Xi Jinping’s government has been taking steps that suggests it is developing a very different approach to its foreign policy, one that seeks to replace the American-built post-1945 international system with its own.

If it continues down this path, it would constitute the most significant and dangerous shift in international politics since the end of the Cold War. It’s been widely reported that Xi has presided over a rise in nationalist rhetoric in recent years, much of it anti- American. While nationalism has been circulating in China for a while, the quantity seems to have risen sharply.

One count done by the “Christian Science Monitor, found that the number of anti-western polemics in the official “People’s Daily” in 2014 so far has tripled compared with the same period last year.

Perhaps more important, however, is that China has begun a low-key but persistent campaign to propose alternatives to the existing structure of international arrangements in Asia and beyond. It’s moved from being anti-American to post-American.

This summer Beijing spearheaded an agreement with the other BRICS countries to create a financial fund that would challenge the IMF. In October Beijing launched a $50 billion Asian infrastructure bank explicitly as an alternative to the World Bank. And last year President Xi declared that China would spend $40 billion to revive the old silk road to promote trade and development in that region.

For China to fit into an international system rubs against its deepest historical traditions. In his recent book Henry Kissinger notes that China has never been comfortable with the idea of a global system of equal states. Historically China considered itself in a sense the sole sovereign government of the whole world.

Diplomacy was a series of carefully contrived ceremonies in which foreign societies were given the opportunity to affirm their assigned place in the global hierarchy. One in which China sat on top. These are worrying signs not because Beijing’s efforts will surely succeed. They may not. Many of its efforts have run into opposition, but if China continues down this path using its growing clout to ask countries to choose between the existing set of arrangements or new ones, it might create conditions for a new kind of cold war in Asia.

It will certainly help to undermine and perhaps eventually destroy the current international order, one that was created by the United States after 1945 and which has been a platform on which peace and prosperity have flourished in Asia for seven decades.