October 21, 2008 archive

Four at Four

  1. The AP reports on a report finding the Gap between rich and poor has grown.

    The gap between rich and poor is getting bigger in the world’s richest countries – and particularly the United States – as children and low-skilled workers slide deeper into poverty, according to a 30-nation report released Tuesday.

    In a 20-year study of its 30 member countries, the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said children and young adults are 25 percent more likely to be poor than the population average – with an even larger gap for single-parent families…

    The United States has the highest inequality and poverty in the OECD after Mexico and Turkey, and the gap has increased rapidly since 2000, the report said…

    In the United States, the richest 10 percent earn an average of US$93,000 – the highest level in the OECD. The poorest 10 percent earn an average of US$5,800 – about 20 percent lower than the OECD average

    But even with the growing gap, Reuters adds Society is not breaking down. “The gap between the rich and poor has grown in most wealthy nations, but not as quickly as many people believe and not enough to raise fears of social upheaval”. The report also claimed the growing gap was “not one that would justify … talk about the breakdown of society.” So, don’t look for a revolution any time soon.

    The full OECD report, “Growing Unequal? Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries,” is available for purchase. Some of the findings for the U.S. made in the report are:

    • “The distribution of earnings widened by 20% since the mid-1980s which is more than in most other OECD countries. This is the main reason for widening inequality in America.”

    • “Redistribution of income by government plays a relatively minor role in the United States… This is partly because the level of spending on social benefits such as unemployment benefits and family benefits is low – equivalent to just 9% of household incomes, while the OECD average is 22%.”

    • “Wealth is distributed much more unequally than income: the top 1% control some 25-33% of total net worth and the top 10% hold 71%. For comparison, the top 10% have 28% of total income.”

Four at Four continues with the U.S. suicide rate increasing at an alarming rate, the Fed to back money market mutual funds, and India’s moon shot.

Ethnocide. Master’s Commission. Palin (Unedited Version)

Read dogemperor’s “Palin, dominionist intimidation, and actual witch-hunters”

Sarah Palin, who has attacked Alaska Native Languages and Alaska Tribal Sovereignty, gave a speech at the Master’s Commission on September 2nd, 2008,


It has only one mission, to throw defeat in the face of the Devil and see God’s people freed.

and the Master’s Commission has a branch that Christianizes Alaskan Natives.


Although the Native Reservations of the lower 48 states may be off the beaten path, these tribes are easily accessible compared to the Native tribes of bush Alaska. Forgotten? Not by God! But the reality is reaching the indigenous people of this state is very difficult and very expensive!

Let’s look at the speech and how she’s attacked Alaska Native Languages and Alaska Tribal Sovereignty after briefly looking at the history of Missionary work in Alaska (edited version of this diary is here).

Angry America, Yell Louder! …………………updated


Why Is America So Angry and Scared?

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A new national poll suggests that only a quarter of Americans think things are going well in the country today, while the rest of those questioned are angry, scared and stressed out.


An equal portion of those polled said they are angry about the way things are going. Two-thirds of those questioned said they’re scared about the way things are going and three in four said the current conditions in the country are stressing them out.

“It’s scary how many Americans admit they are scared,” said Keating Holland, CNN’s polling director. “Americans tend to downplay the amount of fear they have when facing tough times. The fact that more than six in 10 say that they are scared shows how bad things are getting.”

“Do you feel things in this country are generally going in the right direction or do you feel things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track?”

             Right         Wrong

             Direction     Track      Unsure

                %            %           %

10/10-13      7            89          4

So why is America angry and scared? They don’t know. They don’t know what has happened, they don;t know how we got here, they don’t know how to get out of this horror show they have found themselves in. (Read this!) They have been consistently programmed to believe that the elites know wtf they are doing, when in fact, they simply do not.

They have been sold an illusion, and they have bought it hook, line and sinker. They have been told, programmed, hoodwinked into believing that all they have to do is keep their heads down, work hard (which now means working far more than a 40 hour week) and the elites will take care of them. They have been convinced that they are powerless and that their betters, The Ruling Class are somehow all knowing, brilliant and beneficent and that they are a class of peons. They have been taught to bow, scrape and kowtow. They have been taught to be accepting sheep, even as they are led to the slaughter of their way of life. By those who they have been told to trust, by their betters, by their masters, by the Ruling Class. They have been kept in the dark and fed bullshit and illusions.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, Via TocqueDeville

In his latest column, The Idiots Who Rule America, he seems to ensure that he won’t be invited back to the Council on Foreign Relations Christmas party:

   Our oligarchic class is incompetent at governing, managing the economy, coping with natural disasters, educating our young, handling foreign affairs, providing basic services like health care and safeguarding individual rights. That it is still in power, and will remain in power after this election, is a testament to our inability to separate illusion from reality.

HEAT up your Tuesday Evening

Tonight, Frontline will broadcast Heat, a result of some 18 months of work …

From 9 to 11 pm, ET, the television will be on, tuned to PBS.

How I Stole The Election: A Confession

Criminal masterminds come from the strangest places. Look at Harvey “Two Face” Dent. Or Lex Luthor. Or Cat Woman.

Well, you have a new name to add to that list: grannyhelen.

Sure, I may look mild-mannered. I’m a 40 year-old, stay-at-home mom of two young kids whose alias is a tribute to my own great-grandmother. I write about nonviolence and politics in between changing diapers and baking cookies. You’d see me on my walk with my two-year-old and never think to yourself: this is the woman who is rending the fabric of our Democracy.

But you’d be wrong.


cross-posted from The Dream Antilles


Perwiz Kambakhsh

Literally.  You may recall my February 5, 2008 essay about the bizarre death penalty verdict imposed on a student, Perwiz Kambakhsh, in Afghanistan.  This is an update.

Open Thread


One Thousand and One Threads.

Michelle Obama – Military Spouses

In her campaign travels Michelle has been meeting with the Spouses of our Military Personal, holding round table discussions on what their experiances are and giving a window into one of her causes if Barack is Elected and she becomes the First Lady.

CBS has a couple of video’s of a recent interview done with Michelle, touching on a number of issues of who she is and what she does, there’s also a report that accompanies.

Every few weeks, Obama meets with military spouses in swing states, where she presents herself as a kindred spirit and Barack Obama as the best choice for their families. She attended the two debates with military family members. And at the Democratic National Convention, she led a day of service on behalf of Blue Star Families for Obama, a two-month old group with the tagline: “Pro-Military, Pro-Obama.”

Docudharma Times Tuesday October 21

Colin Powell Endorses Barack Obama

The Racist Republicans Go Running To

Every Microphone In Sight    

Tuesday’s Headlines:

Obama to take break to see sick grandmother

A new breed grabs reins in Anbar

Palestinian group says Israelis killed 68 children in Gaza in year

Turkish courtroom chaos delays trial of alleged coup plotters

Orange Revolution implodes to leave a nation in despair

Power-sharing talks postponed as Tsvangirai is denied passport

South Africa’s rainbow dims

Chinese economic growth slows to single digits

British Aid worker in Afghanistan: aid agencies to review security

Culiacan, Mexico, feels the pain of a drug-induced recession

3 Agencies Vie for Oversight of Swaps Market

By David Cho and Zachary A. Goldfarb

Washington Post Staff Writers

Tuesday, October 21, 2008; Page D01

The government is moving forward with its first significant effort to bring oversight to a vast, unregulated corner of Wall Street that has severely exacerbated the financial crisis.

But a turf war is brewing among three leading federal agencies that have contrasting visions for how the $55 trillion market for speculative financial instruments known as credit-default swaps should be regulated.

While the credit crisis has upended global financial markets and given a lift to advocates of heightened regulation, it has not resolved traditional disputes in Washington over how deeply the government should be involved in free markets.

Iraqi fishermen face tough times

 They complain of smaller catches, and harassment by the coast guards of Iran and Kuwait.

By Raheem Salman

October 21, 2008

Reported from Faw, Iraq — Some days, fisherman Aoun Saleh loves life on the seas: the friendships, the jokes, the singing, especially when they have a big catch. But some days he rues the day he first walked onto the docks.

Like the time, he says, the Kuwaiti sailors stopped his boat in midwinter and forced the entire crew to swim in the cold waters. Or when the Iranian coast guard held him and other fishermen captive, forcing them to cook and clean for them. More recently, he said, Iranian sailors stopped his boat in Iraqi waters, stole the fish and threatened to take the Iraqis to Iran.

Saleh thinks the lack of respect is a sign of how far Iraq has fallen since Saddam Hussein was overthrown five years ago.

“They didn’t dare to do that during Saddam’s time,” he bristles. “Now we don’t know who can protect us — the British? The Americans? The government? Or none of them?



An eroding model for health insurance

Working Americans once could rely on employer-based benefits. But more people are being forced into the individual market, where coverage is costly, bare-bones and precarious.

 By Lisa Girion and Michael A. Hiltzik

October 21, 2008

First of three parts

Jennifer and Greg Danylyshyn of Pasadena are conscientious parents. They keep proper car seats in their used BMW, organic vegetables in the family diet and the pediatrician’s number by the phone.

They don’t have access to the group medical insurance offered by many employers. She’s a stay-at-home mom. He’s a self-employed music supervisor in the TV and film industry. So they buy individual policies for each family member.

As careful consumers, they shopped for the best deals, weighed premium costs against benefits and always assumed they could keep their family covered.

Then last spring Blue Shield of California stunned them with a rejection notice. Baby Ava, their happy, healthy 7-pounder, was born with a minor hip joint misalignment. Her pediatrician said it was nothing serious and probably temporary.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

A Transition through Poetry XXXIII

Art Link

Desert Tortoise


When I was a small child

and life seemed so very hard

I was positive I could not survive

When things happened to me

that should happen to no child

I doubted I would survive

When the sins of my parents

were visited upon their children

I questioned whether I might survive

When I grew older, I somehow learned

to think of myself as a worthwhile person

I thought, I can survive

Faced with the cruelty of not living

in a world of my own making

I decided, I shall survive

I endured the harshest challenges

that I can imagine a life having to offer

As excruciatingly hard as it was, I survived

When life itself, cruel cellular biology

Seemed to conspire against me

Even then I did survive

Even age, that most viscious mistress

tries to slowly grind me into giving up

but I have still survived

I don’t care what life brings my way now

no matter what or who may come or go

I know that some way I will survive

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–April 28, 2006

What if McCain wins?

Just wondering. It’s a remote possibility at this point but it’s still a possibility. Given the concerted effort to suppress the vote in so many districts and states, it becomes more possible. That YPM scam of registering some voters as Republicans and un-enrolling others has been going on for quite a while now. And in quite a few states. Add in a healthy vote count due to hacked voting machines. Set up a lot of police roadblocks on Nov 4th in minority areas, a la FL 2000. It still seems totally impossible for McCain to win. But what if?

He’s showing signs of Alzheimer’s (6 out of 10 so far). Melanoma once is bad, twice is very bad. Three times, it’s a miracle to survive. Four times??? So we get President Palin, the very first PILF. And her husband Todd of teh AIP. Heh. Actually, the two of them might make us yearn for the good old Bush/Cheney years. Think about it.

What would this country look like in 2012?

What would the world look like in 2012?

Just askin’.

Vote early. 😉


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