Morton Montgomery gets my first annual, maybe only, award for being a Daily Kos diarist who actually pushes the Kossacks forward by explaining why it's unlikely Obama will fix the economy...
Writer Joe Gregorio expands on the popular Free Market Fairy concept:
There is nothing benevolent about free markets, they are a natural force, like gravity, and aren't magical, good, or evil. The free market will maximize efficiency and it will do so in a manner that is blind to externalities...
Maximizes efficiency and is blind to externalities. That's the market, not good or evil, simply a force, with a will to live and colonize. That's the "invisible hand." It's true that the Hand has fallen out of fashion, but give it time to recover. Already, libertarians insist that the current crisis is merely a natural fluctuation exacerbated by government intervention--this 20 years + into deregulation.
A much more depressing story, I suppose, because I recently had a falling out over this argument, and because there are so many human faces in Dion Nissenbaum's account of Israeli soldiers confessing to practices that range somewhere between illegal and legally-murkey-over-the-top-brutality:
Soldiers described incidents in which Israeli forces killed an unarmed Palestinian carrying a white cloth, an elderly woman carrying a sack, a Gazan riding a motorcycle, and an elderly man with a flashlight[...]The 110-pages of testimony — along with 16 video clips — of interviews with 26 unnamed Israeli soldiers offers the most comprehensive look inside a military campaign that's become the subject of an unfolding United Nations war crimes investigation.
No longer perceived as the cohesive, smart, morally pure army, the IDF response is clumsy and circular...
The Israel Defense Forces dismissed the report.
IDF spokeswoman Avital Leibovich said Tuesday that the IDF now is conducting dozens of investigations into troop conduct during the Gaza operation and that more than a dozen cases led to police investigations.
In April, the IDF announced it had concluded five high-level investigations, including one into the use of phosphorus to burn down buildings, and cleared itself.
So this week, instead of pointing out the misleadership of the Palestinian resistance and pissing off my progressive friends (I routinely do this and they accuse me of an irresponsible neutrality), I suppose I'll piss off ex-friends by pointing out that failure to condemn Israeli violence and seriously engage the issues separating the people of Israel from the people of Palestine is not only moral tunnell vision, but also pragmatic paralysis...and a death sentence for more Israeli and Palestinian children.
Finally, the Pentagon and others apparently want to expand the size of the U.S. Army. Part of me actually thinks this is a good idea. Get more people over to Iraq and Afghanistan so that they can see what a folly of a mess U.S. imperialism has created. Sure, most will come back with the same uncritical love for U.S.-imp they had before, but more and more will come back critical thinkers and progressives, while zero will experience a net increase in blind patriotism. As predicted by all sorts of radical commentators, war is revolutionary. But on the other hand, I don't want more of my brothers and sisters in uniform to experience danger in a world they never made.