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October 1, 2008

Black Car Limos

Wall St. Drivers

I find my primary solace in those who, one a day-to-day basis, continue to visually capture the human dimension of the Wall Street bailout and the intersection of the two Americas.  Photographer Yana Paskova captured this image for the NYT metro section that morning the Wall Street meltdown simultaneously hit the fan and the papers.  The caption reads:

Waiting for clients outside Lehman Brothers in Midtown on Tuesday were, from left, Samuel Dankwah, Ernest Campbell, Ronald Saba and Yves Bertrand, who drive black-car limousines.

Accompanying article: “Hard Times for Drivers of the Wall St. Powerful”

(revised 10.2.08)

(image: Yana Paskova for The New York Times. published September 16, 2008)

  • Karen

    Clusters of worried people in a major American city. I’m not ready to see that again. As bad as the solution is, I can only hope it helps in the short term and that our new administration works swiftly to come up with a long term solution.

  • Bill D.

    I know you are wearied by the Palin story, but I would love to read analysis of the photo of Ms. Palin practicing for the debate behind a plywood lectern mockup under the trees in Sedona, Arizona…

  • bystander

    Conflicting, isn’t it.
    We recognize that we’ve become a “service” economy. The opportunities for individuals without technical skills is narrowing, at the same time opportunities for those with technical skills is diminished. On the one hand, you’d like to see those fat cats who use limo services get their comeuppance. On the other hand, you recognize that there are livelihoods which depend on them.
    My intellectual understanding of the fragility of this economic house of cards, coupled with my instincts, tells me there is much pain ahead for our collective, and individual, ability to provision for ourselves. The very means by which people feed, clothe, and house themselves is coming under assault. All of the warnings and indicators were in plain view and know for years. It was all going to come to a head eventually, and here it is.
    I’m no better off for recognizing the conflict this photo engenders in me.
    And, you’re correct. It renders the Palin-Biden debate virtually meaningless, if not, on some level, outright insulting. We have been reduced to a parody of ourselves.

  • http://www.lindahansonphoto.com/ Linda Hanson

    I recommend the “owners’ of these cars read a novel called “The White Tiger” by Aravind Adiga . It may cause them to consider the consequences of the social-economic chasm between drivers and passengers. Or not.
    Linda

  • http://home.comcast.net/~sfs73/index.html MonsieurGonzo

    Yes, an interesting side-story ~ unfortunately the picture depicts nothing decipherable about WALL STREET, nor does it amplify THE STORY text by offering any visual insight context. But, Michael ~ what has this got to do with Sarah Palin ?

    BAMBERGER : I saw a woman who was prepared for the debate by memorizing a few answers and was schooled in the ‘if-you-don’t-know-the-answer, talk-about-something-else’ model of exchange. I was shocked, though, that she outright told Gwen Ifill and Biden, in her own special Northern Exposure perky way, that she’d darn well only answer the questions she wanted and was going to ignore them and talk to the American people about the topics she came to talk about. I’ve never really seen that kind of F- you moment in a national debate.

    Right On! Looks like the last time you posted anything, whatsoever having to do with THE WAR was, what… August 18? well, I know you “Love Dem Hits!” in the words of James Brown, but pooh! I don’t hafta talk about ‘Sarah Palin’ 24/7 if I don’t wanna.
    Sydney Morning Herald : “Chorus of failure grows ever louder over Afghanistan” :

    The perception of the threat from the Taliban continues to outstrip reality,” Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith told The Times last week. “This struggle is more down to the credibility of the Afghan Government rather than the threat from the Taliban.”
    The security situation is getting worse. So is corruption and the [Afghan] Government has lost all trust. [The insurgency], while incapable of winning a military victory, nevertheless has the capacity to make life increasingly difficult, including in the capital.
    The presence – especially the military presence – of the coalition is part of the problem, not the solution. The foreign forces are ensuring the survival of a regime that would collapse without them. In doing so, they are slowing down and complicating an eventual exit from the crisis.”

    DYSTOPIAN REALITY. . .the State, without the freedom to fail becomes a dysfunctional stasis of forces.

    Zamir Kabulov, the Russian ambassador to Kabul, has lectured Washington that it is repeating the mistakes made by Moscow during its 1980s occupation of Afghanistan, when it “believed that control of [the Capital city] and the provincial centres equated with control of an essentially rural population.”

    UTOPIAN FUTILITY. . .the persistence, or by force insistence of an unrealizable notion of nation ‘State’.

    More and more the American effort in Afghanistan resembles the Vietnam War – with its emphasis on body counts and air strikes, its cross-border sanctuaries, and its daily tactical victories that never affect the slow and eventual decisive erosion of rural support for the counterinsurgency,” they write.

  • jtfromBC

    yep Mr G theres lots going on elsewhere and good pics to accompany these stories I’m sure
    ~~ “Israel will have to reinstate pre-1967 border for peace deal” – Olmert
    ~~ OTTAWA (extracts)— Stephen Harper admitted Thursday that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was a mistake – one that Canadian troops would have been plunged into had he been prime minister in 2003.
    The grudging admission came during the second televised leaders debate as the five leaders discussed the Canadian mission in Afghanistan.
    Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe needled Harper about the embarrassing revelation that whole sections of a speech about the Iraq war, delivered by Harper as opposition leader in 2003, were lifted almost word for word from a speech delivered two days earlier by Australia’s prime minister at the time, John Howard.
    Duceppe said the Afghan mission has proved longer and more dangerous than anticipated because U.S. President George W. Bush diverted American troops to Iraq.
    “If the situation is so tough in Afghanistan, certainly a large part of that is because of the error made by George Bush by going in Iraq,” he said to Harper.”Do you realize today that you were making a huge error by supporting Bush and Australia … and would you make the same decision today as you were proposing Canada to do in 2003?”
    The prime minister initially tried to dodge the question.”I’ve made it very clear Canada is not going to Iraq. Obviously you know the answer to that question,” he said.
    But Duceppe continued to badger him as Harper tried to steer the discussion back to Afghanistan: “This is not the question I asked. . . I want to hear it. Do you admit it was an error of George Bush and you made the same error?”
    Harper finally answered: “It was absolutely an error. It’s obviously clear the evaluation of weapons of mass destruction proved not to be correct. That’s absolutely true and that’s why we’re not sending anybody to Iraq.”
    Green Leader Elizabeth May shot back: “We’re only not sending anyone to Iraq because you weren’t prime minister at the time.”
    Harper was not so verbose on Thursday.He had little to say beyond his admission that he and Bush were mistaken.
    Asked about it after the debate, Harper immediately changed the subject.
    http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5hApa9Z2Czbrt3zjYP85qnvWxBMDw

  • The BAG

    Gonz, JT, point well taken. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about Nov. 5th and beyond — largely, I think, because of how completely I’ve been pulled into the election. I also have some contributor news coming up which will help expand The BAG’s focus.

  • http://home.comcast.net/~sfs73/images/WordyGrrrl.jpg MonsieurGonzo

    crosspost, No Caption Needed :

    U.S. Secretary of State Rice : “success in Iraq is “not a sure thing.”
    What is interesting about this statement is that it is literally true. And by writing that what i am saying is that “success”, the concept of the word itself ~ remains undefined by the Secretary… or by anyone else, Over There or Over Here, for that matter.
    “success” = something we have not yet achieved-?
    “success” = something achieved but not enduring-?
    “success” = no opposition to Western military occupation & commodity wealth extraction-?
    “success” = the U.S. ’success of the surge’ media metric of no American KIA+WIA, whatsoever-?
    “success” = that notion of nation, ‘IRAQ’ does incorporate all Shi’ite-, Sunni- and Kurdish-identity peoples ~ as existed before the American invasion; e.g., under the Unitary Executive ruler, Saddam Hussein-?
    “success” = a ‘bailout plan’ (!) for the American military… whose most precious assets ~ its assault troops ~ sit now frozen behind the blast-proof walls of their GreenZone and FOB banks; illiquid: incapable of being either deployed (or even withdrawn) without casualty=”failure” ~ yet day-by-day losing “value”, just sitting there in this hideous, daily drip, drip attrition, this Stasis Of Forces-?

    indeed: “success”, quite literally ~ is not a sure thing, yet, is it ?

  • zzyzx

    These guys look like I’ve felt for the past month. The problems with our financial situation, our Constitution, civil rights, election fraud, the whole magilla, have so depressed me that I’ve almost been immobilized. “Utopian futility,” indeed. And now we are faced with the absolute scorched earth dynamics by McCain and his suck puppet surrogate. To deliberately incite southern racists to violence is unforgivable and totally unreported by the M$M. Then there’s the 90-year-old woman who shot herself because she was losing her home. How far will these vultures go? It seems there is no end………….

  • zzyzx

    These guys look like I’ve felt for the past month. The problems with our financial situation, our Constitution, civil rights, election fraud, the whole magilla, have so depressed me that I’ve almost been immobilized. “Utopian futility,” indeed. And now we are faced with the absolute scorched earth dynamics by McCain and his suck puppet surrogate. To deliberately incite southern racists to violence is unforgivable and totally unreported by the M$M. Then there’s the 90-year-old woman who shot herself because she was losing her home. How far will these vultures go? It seems there is no end………….

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